UCLA routs Denver 81-62 behind Riley's career-high 21 points
By BETH HARRIS
LOS ANGELES (AP) It was Cody Riley's turn and he made the most of it.
The sophomore had career-highs of 21 points and 11 rebounds to help UCLA rout Denver 81-62 on Sunday in the Bruins' first game in a week.
Riley became the sixth different player to lead the Bruins in scoring through 10 games.
"It was just my teammates," Riley said. "They found me in the right spots and got me going early."
Freshman Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 16 points for the Bruins (7-3) who led all the way in the teams' first meeting since 1976. They improved to 11-1 all-time against Denver, having won the last five games in a row.
Riley scored eight of UCLA's first 10 points to open the second half, capped by a dunk off Tyger Campbell's miss. Riley later fouled out.
"He can score if you don't double him," UCLA coach Mick Cronin said of Riley. "He's got to learn to play smarter with his fouls."
The Bruins raced to an 11-0 lead to start the game, including six by Riley. They shot 50% and scored 19 points off Denver's turnovers in the half.
The Pioneers twice closed within one before UCLA outscored them 17-7 to head into halftime leading 43-32. Jaquez hit two 3-pointers in the spurt and Riley added five points.
Denver never got a run together in the second half when they trailed by 21 points, allowing the Bruins to play stretches with their reserves. After making six 3-pointers in the first half on 60% shooting, the Pioneers made just one by Ade Murkey in the second half.
"For us, it's a lesson more than a loss," Pioneers coach Rodney Billups said. "When we share the ball and move the ball, we're going to get some wins. We won't see another UCLA on our schedule."
Murkey scored 18 points to lead Denver (4-6).
"I just wanted to do more to help the team," Murkey said.
Denver: The Pioneers are in a rocky stretch, having lost four of their last six. They have just four games remaining before Summit League play begins at the end of the month.
UCLA: They head into a key stretch with upcoming games at Notre Dame and against No. 7 North Carolina in Las Vegas. They've already lost to then-No. 3 Michigan State in Hawaii, so the Bruins could use a signature win away from home to bolster their confidence before Pac-12 play begins early next month.
UCLA guard David Singleton sat out after coming down awkwardly on his left foot and ankle at practice on Friday. X-rays were negative and he is day-to-day. Cronin said Jalen Hill fell on Singleton, who is averaging 15.2 minutes off the bench in his second season.
Denver: Host New Mexico State on Tuesday as part of the Summit League/WAC Challenge.
UCLA: At Notre Dame next Saturday in the 50th all-time meeting between the teams. The Bruins won by three points last season in L.A.
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Updated December 8, 2019