Cody Riley leads UCLA past Washington State in overtime
Cody Riley leads UCLA past Washington State in overtime
LOS ANGELES — Cody Riley got his first shot to fall in overtime, and that gave him the determination to get more.
Riley scored 11 of his 19 points in the five-minute overtime period to lead UCLA to an 86-83 victory over Washington State on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.
Riley made the biggest shots when the Bruins needed him most. He had five field goals in overtime, one more than he did in regulation after coming off the bench. He also had a big blocked shot.
Riley scored on a putback and was fouled, and he converted the three-point play for his first points of overtime.
“Once I got the ball in the post and saw it go in, it gave me a lot of confidence and my teammates got me the ball in great position,” Riley said. “We just rebounded the ball aggressively and the ball went in. It was a good feeling.”
UCLA coach Mick Cronin came away impressed.
“That’s the definition of beast mode,” he said of Riley’s performance. “He just did a great job. We’ve worked hard with him. I think he’s been a guy his whole life who has scored because of his size and now he has to score with techniques and fakes and balance. He did a great job of getting the second foot planted, which gave him strength around the rim. The way he was going you could see he was on a mission.”
Chris Smith had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Tyga Campbell added 14 points for UCLA (14-11 overall, 7-5 Pac-12), which has won six of its last eight games and denied the Cougars what would have been their first win in Westwood since 2009.
“We’ve grown up a lot,” Cronin said. “The reality for our guys is none of them have ever been in a position where they had to play well or UCLA wasn’t going to win. Now, they’re all in that. All the guys who play are all in that position for the first time.”
Isaac Bonton scored 23 points for Washington State (14-11, 5-7), and Jeff Pollard added a career-high 20 points. Pollard also had a career-best four 3-pointers.
Bonton suffered what appeared to be a leg injury late as he hobbled off the court with the help of teammates with 1:06 left in the game.
Smith tied the score with a jumper from the baseline with 17 seconds left in regulation and Bonton missed a 3-point attempt with two seconds left as the game went to overtime.
Then Riley got started.
“He was a monster tonight,” said UCLA freshman guard Jaime Jaquez Jr.
Had there been another game in Riley’s career in which he was so instrumental in the victory?
“I know I had a game where I had 20 points in one game, but I don’t pay attention to that,” said Riley, a sophomore forward. “I’m just excited we got the win. It’s all about the team. It’s not about me. We got the win, and we’re trying to get on a streak. Win a lot of games and get in the (NCAA) Tournament.”
The Cougars’ Noah Williams earned his fifth foul with 3:21 left in overtime, sending him to the bench and UCLA on a 13-6 run to close the game.
The teams went to overtime on Jan. 4 as well, with the Cougars winning 79-71 in Pullman.
Washington State built as much as a 12-point lead at 50-38 with 13:44 left on Thursday, but the Bruins battled back.
“We’ve been in that position a lot of times and a lot of times we let it slip away,” said Jaquez Jr., who contributed 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocked shots.
A 10-2 run go the Bruins back within four points of the Cougars two minutes later, then David Singleton gave UCLA its first lead of the second half at 56-54 on a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 7:14 left.
“This was a big step forward in the right direction because we didn’t let it slip away this time. We kept battling and battling,” Jaquez said.
It was close the rest of the way.
Washington State had won two of its last three before Thursday’s loss.
“We couldn’t keep Riley off the glass,” Cougars coach Kyle Smith said.
Smith got off to a great start and scored the first seven points for UCLA. He got inside the lane and completed a three-point play twice in the first half. Smith had 12 points in the first half and Tyga Campbell had 12.
Smith paced the rebounding for UCLA all night, grabbing seven of his 13 on the offensive end.
“We would’ve been down double digits by halftime if it wasn’t for the (performance on the) offensive glass,” Cronin said.
Washington State scored two baskets in the final minute of the first half to take a 34-30 lead. Tony Miller scored on a layup with 54 seconds left to break a tie game and after a Campbell missed 3-point attempt, Bonton made a layup on the other end for the four-point halftime lead. The Cougars extended that lead to double digits in the second half.
Both teams were cold from the field early. The Bruins weren’t making a lot of shots in the first half, but they were getting stops and a stiffened defensive performance has been one of the keys in getting back in the Pac-12 race. Their collective ability to block shots and make teams take forced shots was instrumental throughout.
“As a team, we made steps forward to become a really good team, to become a team that other teams are scared to play,” Jaquez said. “We knew going into overtime we didn’t want a repeat of what happened last time, so we went out there and played as hard as we could and got the W.”
UCLA hosts Washington (12-13, 2-10) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Washington State plays at USC on Saturday at 5 p.m.
News services contributed to this story.
Bruins snagged that OT win!
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) February 14, 2020