UCLA too much for UNC Asheville in NCAA opener

The Bruins scored the game's first 14 points en route to a 86-53 win

UNC Asheville guard Caleb Burgess, right, is guarded by UCLA guard Amari Bailey during the Bruins’ win Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Sacramento. (Randall Benton / AP Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 17 points and UCLA raced out to a fast start and never looked back in a 86-53 victory over UNC Asheville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

The second-seeded Bruins (30-5) scored the first 14 points of the game and rolled from there. Amari Bailey also scored 17 points and David Singleton had 11.

UCLA advanced to play seventh-seeded Northwestern in the second round of the West Region. The Wildcats beat Boise State 75-67 earlier in the day.

Drew Pember scored 13 points for the 15th-seeded Bulldogs (27-8). UNC Asheville, which won the Big South regular-season and tournament titles, has now lost all five times the school has advanced to the round of 64.

The Bruins apparently took notice of what happened earlier in the day at this site when fellow Pac-12 No. 2 seed Arizona was ousted by Princeton 59-55.

UCLA made sure this game was never in doubt, making its first five shots and taking a 14-0 lead on a 3-pointer by Singleton just 3:06 into the game.

Jaquez scored inside to give the Bruins their biggest lead of the first half at 34-11 and they coasted from there.

The Bulldogs came into the game on a nine-game winning streak and with a school-record 27 wins but were once again overmatched against a major opponent. Four of their five losses in the first round of the tournament have come by at least 20 points, with their only close game being a 72-65 defeat to Syracuse in 2012.