THE ANGELS – Freshman Sebastian Mack scored a team-leading 23 points and added seven assists as the No. 25 UCLA men’s basketball team rolled past Cal State Dominguez Hills, 97-56, in an exhibition game at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom on Tuesday.
Mack finished the exhibition contest as one of seven Bruins to score at least 10 points.
Lazar Stefanovich, a junior from Belgrade, Serbia, scored a total of 19 points and made 6 of 7 attempts. Fifth year student Kenneth Nwuba and freshman Devin Williams each had 13 points, and no January Vide scored a total of 12 points.
Freshman Elaine Feeble rounded out the Bruins’ roster in double-figure scoring with 10 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds.
“My job is to make sure their minds are focused on the things we need so we can become who we want to become,” said Mick Cronin, Michael Price’s family head basketball coach at UCLA. “And their minds were set on the right things [tonight]. Now we have eight new guys who never knew we were training on game day. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen us – we don’t have shooting, we have training. And you see the results of a team that was ready today thanks to our preparation today in training.”
Postgame press conference: Coach Cronin | S. Mak, J. Vide, L. Stefanovic
Except for an early 3-0 deficit, the Bruins led throughout the contest, building their cushion to as many as 10 points in the game’s first six minutes. Mack scored 14 of those team-high 23 points in the first half and connected on three of the Bruins’ first five baskets. He finished the game hitting 9-of-14 field goals and sinking 2-of-4 3-point attempts.
UCLA went ahead 23-11 with 12:04 to play in the first half. The Bruins got field goals from six players in the first 20 minutes.
Cal State Dominguez Hills cut UCLA’s early profusion to just eight points — 31-23 with 5:45 left in the first half — before the Bruins closed out the final five-plus minutes on a 15-5 run.
UCLA led 46-28 at halftime, and the Bruins’ victory was never in doubt during the second half Tuesday night. The Bruins opened the second half, scoring the first five points — behind an old-fashioned 3-point play from Nwuba and a pair of free throws from Stefanovic — to take a 51-28 lead.
Playing at Pauley Pavilion for the first time in nearly eight months, UCLA led by as many as 42 points with 1:59 to play. The Bruins finished the exhibition contest on 58.9 percent shooting from the field and made 6 of 16 3-point attempts.
DJ Guest and Jeremy Dent-Smith led Cal State Dominguez Hills with 10 points each.
UCLA will open its regular season schedule Monday night (Nov. 6) by hosting the University of St. Francis at Pauley Pavilion at 8:30 p.m. The Bruins game will be part of a women’s and men’s basketball doubleheader. The UCLA women’s basketball team hosts Purdue that evening at 5:30 p.m., before the men’s basketball game.
UCLA’s contest next Monday will be televised live on the Pac-12 Network, with Ted Robinson and Bill Walton at the Bruins’ home arena during the broadcast.
Game Notes: UCLA’s Tuesday starters include Sebastian Mack, Will McClendon, Lazar Stefanovich, Elaine Feeble and Kenneth Nwuba … a total of 12 Bruins saw action in the game against Cal State Dominguez Hills … six UCLA players saw action on the court in a Bruins jersey for the first time in their college careers (five true freshmen and junior Lazar Stefanovich) … UCLA totaled eight steals and blocked 10 shots … Cal State Dominguez Hills did not record a block … the Bruins’ upcoming three-game homestand includes games on Monday, Nov. 6 against St. Francis, plus contests against Lafayette (Nov. 10 ) and Long University Island (November 15).