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UCLA returns home to Los Angeles on Thursday, hosting UC Riverside after the Bruins' 1-2 showing last week at the Maui Invitational in Honolulu.

UCLA (4-2) went to the wire in losses against then-No. 4 Marquette, 71-69 on Nov. 20, and 69-65 on Nov. 22 to No. 11 Gonzaga. The setbacks bookended a 76-48 rout of Div. II program Chaminade, the Maui Invitational host.

Sebastian Mack was a standout in all three games. He was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week after performances of 25 points against Marquette and 16 points against both Chaminade and Gonzaga.

Mack is setting the scoring pace for the Bruins through six games at 15.8 points per game.

"(Coach Mick) Cronin trusts me, let's me play as a freshman, so I have to do as much as I can when I'm on that court," Mack said during Tuesday's media availability. "I liked (earning Freshman of the Week) but I'm never satisfied. There's still work that needs to be done."

Mack has had the most significant impact of any of the UCLA freshmen, a group that also includes Aday Mara. Mara has started three games, averaging 4.5 points and three rebounds per game.

Berke Buyuktuncel, who the NCAA cleared in time for the Maui Invitational, rebounded from an 0-of-7 shooting performance in his debut against Marquette to score nine points vs. Chaminade and six vs. Gonzaga.

UC Riverside (3-4) visits UCLA for the sixth all-time meeting between the programs and the first since November 2016, when the Bruins rolled to a 98-56 victory.

The Highlanders split games at the Montana State tournament over Thanksgiving week, beating Green Bay 74-68 on Nov. 21 and dropping a 69-68 decision on Nov. 22 to Montana State.

UC Riverside came home for a 109-63 rout of Bethesda on Sunday in which five scorers recorded at least 12 points. Ben Griscti, who scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds, is one of three Highlanders to have appeared in at least six games and average double figures in scoring this season.

Griscti is scoring 10 points per game, Isaiah Moses is averaging 11 points per game, and Barrington Hargress is scoring 12 points per game.

"We play a gritty style on the defensive end and we play a collective style offensively," Highlanders coach Mike Magpayo said during Big West Conference media day. "We've continued to build off of that."

UC Riverside's 22-12 record a season ago is the best in the program's Division I history.

--Field Level Media

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