Photo: Katharine Lotze / Getty Images
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LOS ANGELES — Cal coach Wyking Jones will try anything to jump-start his Bears as the Pac-12 season begins. Against UCLA on Saturday, he shook up the lineup, starting four former reserves along with Juhwan Harris-Dyson.
“Guys think that their starting positions are something that is given to them. I wanted to do something different,” Jones said. “The guys that started have been working hard and giving us great things in practice.”
Nonetheless, the Bears’ struggles continued against UCLA, as Cal lost 98-83 at Pauley Pavilion.
Kris Wilkes scored 18 points to lead the Bruins (9-6, 2-0 Pac-12), who pulled away in the second half. The Bears (5-9, 0-2) need to regroup after giving up 82 points in a loss at USC and 98 to UCLA.
Darius McNeill scored 23 points to lead Cal. Justice Sueing added 18 points and nine rebounds. Sueing made all eight of his free throws, helping the Bears finish 21-for-25 from the line.
After Cal opened a seven-point lead to start the game, the Bruins settled down. They ripped off 10 points in a row to take the lead for good. Prince Ali’s one-handed dunk off David Singleton’s steal closed out the first half with the Bruins leading 50-42.
Cal opened the second half on a 14-10 run to get within four, but the Bears never got any closer. They haven’t won at UCLA since Feb. 11, 2012, a span of six games.
After having just two games with double-digit turnovers last season, the Bears committed 19 against the Bruins.
UCLA is humming under interim coach Murry Bartow, who replaced Steve Alford after he was fired Monday amid a four-game skid. Bartow has the Bruins playing a fast-paced style that is drawing cheers instead of boos inside Pauley Pavilion. Their point total was the team’s highest this season, and six players scored in double figures.
The Bears didn’t have guard Paris Austin, hurt in practice Friday. He had 13 points, five rebounds and six assists against USC.
“We turned the ball over 19 times. You don’t do that with him in the lineup,” Jones said.
Cal returns home to host Arizona State on Wednesday.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Cal-changes-lineup-but-Bears-fall-to-UCLA-13511413.php.