ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Lazeric Jones scored a team-high 21 points and UCLA survived a late scoring binge by Tyler Bernardini to beat Pennsylvania, 77-73, Saturday in the Bruins' first home game of the season at Honda Center.
Bernardini scored a career-high 29 points, including a career-best eight of his team's 12 3-pointers. Rob Belcore added 13 points, hitting a 3-pointer to end the game, for the Quakers (5-6), who were playing UCLA for the first time since 1987.
UCLA led by as many as 14 points, claiming a 60-46 cushion after a jump shot from Jones with 10:22 left in the second half. The Bruins were ahead by as many as 13 points (68-55) at the 5:52 mark after Norman Powell nailed a three-pointer.
Penn continued to chip away at the Bruins' lead. The Quakers trailed by just five points after Miles Cartwright hit a three-point basket with 3:44 left in regulation. UCLA followed with a lay-up from David Wear at 3:14 before Bernardini nailed his final three-pointer of the game at 2:58, pullling Penn to within four points (71-67).
From that point, the Bruins never trailed by fewer than four points. Leading by a 73-68 margin, Joshua Smith dunked to put the Bruins ahead by seven points with 1:55 to play.
"It was a good feeling to win," Howland said. "Penn is a very well-coached team. It was a good win for us and a step in the right direction. Our next game against Eastern Washington won't be any easier."
The Bruins led by 13 with 5:34 remaining before getting outscored 18-9 to end the game.
UCLA entered halftime with a 39-35 lead, having nailed six of 11 three-point shots before intermission.
The Bruins will play three additional "home" games at Honda Center while Pauley Pavilion undergoes a major renovation.
UCLA returns to action against Eastern Washington at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Game time is 7:30 p.m.