Jalen Hill scored a career-high 22 points and added 10 rebounds, while Jules Bernard finished with 20 points off the bench, as UCLA overcame a slow start to earn a 77-61 nonconference victory Sunday over UC Santa Barbara.
Chris Smith scored 13 points and Prince Ali added 12 as the Bruins (2-0) opened the second half on an 18-5 run to take control of a game in which they trailed for much of the first half.
Maxx Heidegger scored 21 points for the Gauchos (1-1), who fell to 1-22 all-time against UCLA and are 2-25 in their last 27 games on the road against Pac-12 Conference teams. Matt Freeman had 12 points for Santa Barbara.
Ali and Hill took advantage of a chance to start after both came off the bench in a season-opening victory against Long Beach State on Wednesday. Hill reached his career high in points midway through the second half.
Hill, who reached double digits in rebounds five times as a freshman last season, was instrumental in forcing Gauchos forward Robinson Idehen to foul out with more than seven minutes remaining. Santa Barbara forward Amadou Sow also fouled out after grabbing 10 rebounds.
Both teams struggled from the field early, with Santa Barbara taking a 34-32 lead into halftime. UCLA did not have any points four minutes into the game and had just one field goal six minutes after the opening tap.
Together, the two teams opened the game shooting 2 of 19 from the field. UCLA stayed in the game early by making 10 free throws in the first half to just one for the Gauchos.
The Bruins were a far different team at the outset of the second half. UCLA shot just 32.1 percent from the field in the first half, but rebounded to shoot 53.1 percent in the second half and 43.3 percent in the game.
The Bruins were without freshman forward Shareef O’Neal, who is day-to-day with a hip injury.
—Field Level Media