March 21, 2023


Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

UCLA loses to No. 20 Ohio State in CBS Sports Classic

Cody Riley reversed a lefty layup into the hoop, ending a four-minute scoring drought from the field for UCLA against No. 20 Ohio State on Saturday, but the basket with 16 seconds left was only cosmetic in the Bruins’ 77-70 loss to the Buckeyes in the CBS Sports Classic.

Before Riley’s shot, which gave him a team-high 15 points, UCLA missed six consecutive shots from the field, ending its winning streak at five with a conference game looming Wednesday at Oregon.

Sophomore Johnny Juzang scored 13 points but was one for six from three-point range and is two for 14 from beyond the arc in the last two games.

The Bruins (5-2) haven’t played in the main draw of the NCAA tournament since 2017, a streak that UCLA was hoping to end last season with a run in the Pac-12 tournament before it was canceled because of COVID-19. Even without fans, Saturday’s game in Cleveland had the energy of a postseason preview.

Both teams shot better than 50% from the field for most of the first half while combining for just nine turnovers in a high-quality, high-intensity game. UCLA’s execution, orchestrated by point guard Tyger Campbell’s three first-half assists, prompted CBS announcer Carter Blackburn to quote legendary play-by-play voice Dick Enberg.

“It’s like the ‘Bruin Ballet,’” Blackburn said, referring to a chapter in Enberg’s biography, after Campbell swung a quick pass around the top of the arc to Jake Kyman for a three-pointer in the first half.

Campbell finished with five assists and three points with no turnovers but shot just one for 10 from the field.

The Bruins tip-toed ahead in the tightly contested game with a 11-2 run in the second half, opening up their largest lead of nine with 14 minutes remaining. Guard Chris Smith capped the streak with his first field goal of the game after missing his first three shots from the field.

Smith, after missing all eight of his attempts from the field in UCLA’s win against Marquette on Dec. 11, was scoreless from the field in the first half Saturday. The preseason All-Pac-12 first-team selection was the last of the nine UCLA players who entered the game in the first half to score, and he did so only on two free throws.

The senior finished with six points on two-for-eight shooting with five rebounds.

Ohio State’s leading scorer, E.J. Liddell, fouled out with 7:21 remaining in the second half, but the Buckeyes (6-1) used a 12-4 run to take a six-point lead with 2:52 remaining. Ohio State was scoreless from the field for the final 3:53 but held on by shooting 73.1% from the free-throw line for the game. Duane Washington Jr. scored a game-high 14 points for the Buckeyes.