Contemplating his team’s success amid struggles from a few of its top shooters, UCLA coach Mick Cronin said he envisioned a game where all of his players got hot at the same time.
It came Thursday.
Tyger Campbell got things started with a floater. Cody Riley followed with back-to-back jump shots, a jump hook and a spin move for a layup.
The game wasn’t even three minutes old and the Bruins had made their first five shots. Soon others would join in the shot-making fun, helping UCLA enjoy a rare breather in a start-to-finish 91-61 romp over Washington State at Pauley Pavilion that gave the Bruins a fifth consecutive victory.
Making 54% of their shots was all the more impressive for the Bruins (10-2 overall, 6-0 Pac-12 Conference) considering the display came against a Cougars team that entered Thursday holding opponents to a best-in-the-nation 35.5%.
But Washington State (9-3, 2-3) couldn’t slow Campbell, who made seven of eight shots on the way to 16 points, or Riley, who made five of nine shots while finishing with 12 points. Campbell also made both of his three-pointers after entering the game shooting only 24.1% from long range.
UCLA guard Johnny Juzang scored a career-high 17 points on seven-for-14 shooting, including three of six from long range, continuing his strong play after having logged his previous career high of 16 points against Arizona last weekend.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 16 points for UCLA, which remained atop the Pac-12 standings and is off to its best start in conference play since winning its first seven games during the 1993-94 season.
In another encouraging development for the Bruins, sharpshooter Jake Kyman made two of three three-pointers after entering the game shooting 23.8% from beyond the arc.
UCLA scored its most points in a half under Cronin while building a 54-38 halftime lead in which the Bruins shot 65% while shredding the Cougars’ 2-3 zone, making seven of nine three-pointers (78%) and all seven of their free throws. The stat that best indicated the Bruins’ willingness to share the ball was their 20 field goals on 15 assists.
Senior guard Isaac Bonton scored 23 points to lead Washington State, which has lost its last 10 games at Pauley Pavilion.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.