HomeUCLA defeats Cal State Bakersfield, but Cody Riley hits knee in season opener – Press Enterprise

UCLA defeats Cal State Bakersfield, but Cody Riley hits knee in season opener – Press Enterprise

LOS ANGELES – Well, we’ve seen enough, we bring in Villanova at number four.

The UCLA men’s basketball team made things look really easy this past week. Although the first semester was a showdown against NCAA Division II Chico State, Cal State Bakersfield’s breakup at Pauley Pavilion Tuesday night 95-58 in the season opener really counted and, perhaps most importantly, showed the Bruins ready for a real test.

However, the Bruins may be without starting player Cody Riley after the top striker fell embarrassingly just eight minutes into the game and grabbed his left knee as he rolled back and forth in pain. After several minutes on the field while the coaches and staff looked after him, he got up and walked to the bench by himself, but his gait was wobbly as several fans chanted his name.

“We won’t know anything about Cody’s injury until something is confirmed,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said.

Riley, who scored 10 points per game last season, grabbed three rebounds in four minutes and never came back to the game.

It can further affect the depth of the front court. Center Mac-Etienne had a potential injury to his right knee at the end of the season, according to Cronin. The 6-foot-10 student is awaiting final confirmation from medical staff of his diagnosis and return schedule.

Jonny Guzhang and Jules Bernard each scored 19 points, and Jaime Jaques Jr. added 14 as the second-seeded Bruins lead wire to wire. Tiger Campbell and Jaylene Clark each scored 10 points for UCSD (1-0).

It didn’t take long for the arena’s public speaking announcer to start promoting Friday’s nationally televised showdown against Villanova. The Bruins led 75-39 with 9:16 left and the “#2 UCLA vs. #4 Villanova” chart was shown on Jumptron encouraging fans to buy their tickets.

“I have a lot of experience with Villanova from the Big East days,” Cronin said. “I know what it’s all about. I understand how hard they play and how hard they are, I thought (tonight) would give us a microcosm.”

“Our work stopped for us on Friday night, I promise,” he added.

Tusday’s score was not in doubt, and the margin was not less than 28 points for the last nine minutes.

UCLA scored 47 points in the first half, but it was defense that put things off early. The Bruins (1-0) were up 18-11 at 10:25 in the first half before leading 26-7 to finish the game. UCLA held Bakersfield with 26% and only scored three field goals during the last 10:02 of the opening frame. Roadrunners was 3 versus 17 during this stretch.

While the Roadrunners were missing, UCLA was making the conversion. The Bruins made eight of their last 15 shots to finish the half, including 3 pointers before Jaquez’s halftime rang to make it 47-19 at halftime.

The Bruins started the second half 5-for-6 from the floor, including two 3-pointers from Bernard and Juzang. The margin grew to 32 pips (60-28) with just over 15 minutes remaining.