UCLA Bruins: Juzang hits 23 points, secures win over Colorado Buffaloes
January 24, 2022
The ninth-ranked Bruins escaped with a hard-fought 71-65 victory over Colorado on Saturday night despite the chaos caused by the Buffaloes' crowd at home.
Following a tight victory over Utah on Thursday, the Bruins have secured their second straight conference road trip under coach Mick Cronin.
The Buffaloes tried to make it to overtime, but the Bruins were able to pull out the win after Johnny Juzang made a couple of key stops down the stretch.
UCLA fires on all cylinders
Juzang scored 23 points, including two crucial free throws with 16 seconds left to help the Bruins fend off a furious rally by Colorado. Following Juzang's clinical 23-point game, Tyger Campbell added 14 points for the Bruins, who improved to 13-2 overall and 5-1 in the Pac-12.
After some sluggish offensive performances, the Bruins came out firing on all cylinders against Colorado. They started 7-of-12 from beyond the arc and forced the Buffaloes into five first-half turnovers.
The Bruins had a double-digit lead in the first six minutes of the game, but the Buffaloes responded with a couple of 3s to cut it to a one-score game.
After going without a point for a couple of minutes, Juzang hit another jumper to cushion the Bruins. Then, after a couple of key plays by the Buffs, Colorado was able to make it a one-point game again.
The Buffaloes only hit one shot in the last eight minutes of the first half, which allowed the Bruins to retake the lead.
The Bruins responded to Colorado's cold shooting by hitting five straight shots to start the second half. The streak ended when Campbell missed a jumper. But Juzang put back the ball at the buzzer.
The Bruins led by as many as 21 points in the first half, 43-28. However, the Buffaloes were able to cut it to eight after a turnover from Campbell with 11 minutes left in the second half.
After the Bruins went up 58-55 with four minutes left, Juzang hit two jumpers to keep the Bruins up by five points. Both teams went back and forth to take the lead.
After struggling from the field, Campbell hit a big 3 to put the Bruins up by four points. Then, after getting fouled, Colorado forward Evan Battey hit both of his free throws.
The game was decided by the free throws made by Juzang and Jules Bernard, who combined to go 8-of-8 from the line. It was also highlighted by the play of center Myles Johnson, who had a solid game with eight points and two blocks.
Cronin warns his player of Colorado's comeback
After seeing how Colorado was able to fight back, Cronin warned his team that they should not allow this game to be lost. He then told his team to widen the lead. "I told the guys we better get up 20," the coach said. Despite the lack of time left, the Bruins could hold on for a 71-65 victory.
After winning three straight games, the Bruins are now focused on facing third-ranked Arizona on Tuesday night. This game will be the biggest challenge for the team this season before going against Arizona again on February 3.