LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- In a game that featured the only two programs to be led by the legendary basketball coach John Wooden, No. 13 nationally-ranked UCLA earned a 86-59 victory over visiting Indiana State in front of a sell-out crowd of 13,513 fans in the first game played at New Pauley Pavilion.
The Sycamores dropped their season opener for the first time in five seasons while the Bruins won the first game of their campaign.
Wooden was the head coach of the Sycamore program in 1946-47 and 1947-48 before leading the Bruins for 10 seasons thereafter. From 1964 until last season, the Bruins played in Pauley Pavilion before a complete renovation occurred over the last 18 months. The game between Indiana State and UCLA was the first since the building reopened.
Justin Gant and Khristian Smith each scored 11 points in the contest to lead the Sycamores while Manny Arop added 10. Gant tallied eight rebounds while Arop added six boards and Smith was 4-of-8 from the field, including a mark of 2-of-3 from 3-point range.
The Sycamores hit 19-of-60 shots from the field (31.7 percent) but the defense did force 16 UCLA turnovers and converted them into 24 points.
Justin Gant scored the first points in the New Pauley Pavilion to stake the Sycamores to a 3-0 lead on a 3-pointer nearly three minutes into the game. Manny Arop and Khristian Smith scored in transition to stretch the ISU lead out to 7-3 after UCLA tied it, but the Bruins countered with four in a row to tie it right back up at 7 at the 14 minute mark.
RJ Mahurin converted a conventional 3-point play with 9:30 remaining in the first half to give the Sycamores a 14-11 lead, but UCLA answered with one of their own and a free throw put the Bruins ahead 15-14 with 8:45 on the clock.
UCLA would stretch the lead out to 9-0 before Dawon Cummings hit a long jumper with eight minutes left to cut the UCLA lead down to 20-16. After a Bruin basket, Khristian Smith added a free throw to make it 22-17 and Gant converted a put-back off a Mahurin miss to inch the Sycamores closer at 22-19 with 6:15 left.
Mahurin scored again with 4:30 left in the first half to inch the Sycamores within 25-23. And 8-0 run by UCLA gave the Bruins a 33-23 advantage until Khristian Smith hit a jumper with just over a minute remaining to cut the Bruin cushion down to 33-25.
Odum answered a UCLA free throw with a jumper in the paint with 50 seconds on the clock to creep the Sycamores within 34-27, but the Bruins gained a second-chance opportunity to make it 36-27 with 33 seconds on the clock and the shot clock turned off. Smith missed a jumper with three seconds left to send the Sycamores to the half down nine points.
Gant led the Sycamores with seven points while Khristian Smith and Mahurin added five each in the first half.
The Sycamores' leading scorer in the first half scored out of the gate for ISU after the half when Gant converted a dribble drive that cut the UCLA lead down to 38-29 with 18 minutes on the clock. Gant became the first player in the game to reach double figures scoring as he hit a free throw with 17 minutes remaining to make it 40-30.
Indiana State would get a pair of Devonte Brown free throws at the 15 minute mark to cut the lead down to 48-32 and then Odum posted two more charity tosses with 13:43 on the clock to cut the Bruin advantage down to 49-34. Lucas Eitel got the Sycamores' first field goal in over six minutes when he drilled a 3-pointer with 11 minutes to go to cut the UCLA advantage down to 56-40.
Eitel hit his second 3-pointer of the contest as the clock ticked under 10 minutes to go which got the Sycamores within 61-45. Odum added a pair of free throws after he was fouled on a drive with nine minutes to go which answered a UCLA charity toss and made it 62-47.
The Sycamore run continued with a 3-pointer from Khristian Smith, a Dawon Cummings steal and a Manny Arop lay-up which cut the the Bruin lead down from 20 points to just 63-52 with 7:23 to go and forced UCLA to use two timeouts in consecutive possessions.
UCLA would run the lead back out to 74-56 with 2:30 left as the Sycamores battled foul trouble in the contest.
Jordan Adams scored 21 points off the bench to lead UCLA in scoring and was one of four Bruins to reach double figures scoring.
Indiana State returns home to face Winthrop on Tuesday, November 13 inside Hulman Center. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET).