LOS ANGELES — No. 25 Cincinnati used an 18-0, first-half run to maintain a double-digit lead throughout the second half en route to a 77-63 win over UCLA on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion.
The Bearcats (9-2) trailed early, but a stifling defensive presence and balanced offensive attack fueled the decisive run. Cincinnati made 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions in one stretch and five total over a longer, 21-3 run.
Guard Jacob Evans made 4 of 5 from behind the arc for the game en route to 16 points. His first basket inside the line was critical, coming on a put-back with 5:53 remaining, quieting the home crowd amid a UCLA rally effort.
Evans’ outside touch and the interior presence of Kyle Washington, who scored a game-high 19 points, led Cincinnati. The Bearcats also got 10 points from guard Jarron Cumberland and forward Gary Clark.
UCLA (7-3) endured a scoreless spell that lasted 6:26 and ended only on a pair of Alex Olesinski free throws with 17.7 seconds remaining before halftime. The Bruins went 7:40 without scoring a field goal, a drought guard Aaron Holiday ended with a twirling layup early in the second half.
Cincinnati’s defense forced 15 of UCLA’s 18 turnovers in the first half.
The Bearcats held UCLA center Thomas Welsh — the Bruins’ second-leading scorer at 13.7 points per game — without a first-half point on just two field-goal attempts. His first points came on a hook shot with 15:01 remaining.
Cincinnati’s lead swelled to 19 points twice in the second half before a 21-12 UCLA run trimmed the deficit to 10 points. Holiday and guard Kris Wilkes led the Bruins with 17 and 14 points, respectively, on an afternoon the team shot just 41.1 percent from the floor.
NOTES: UCLA’s 23 first-half points were a season-low for the Bruins. ... Cincinnati forced 18 turnovers, 15 more than when the two teams played last March in the NCAA Tournament. ... Cincinnati outscored UCLA on points off turnovers, 23-11.