LOS ANGELES – Bryce Alford scored a team-leading 28 points and had a career-high 13 assists to lead UCLA past Nicholls State, 107-74, on Thursday night in the Bruins’ third straight victory.
Alford, who made a career-high six 3-pointers (on 11 attempts), was one of three UCLA players to score at least 20 points. Norman Powell finished with 23 points and five rebounds, while Tony Parker added 20 points and seven rebounds.
Freshman Kevon Looney registered his second consecutive double-double for UCLA (3-0), totaling 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Bruins scored at least 100 points for the second time in their first three games, having cruised past Montana State, 113-78, in the season opener on Friday, Nov. 14.
Amin Torres scored all of his 18 points in the second half for Nicholls State (0-2). Richie Lewis added 14 in the first meeting between the two schools. The visiting Colonels scored more consistently during the second half, expending most of their energy trying to dig out of a 33-point hole.
“I was really pleased, especially with the first half,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “I thought we played really well in the first 20 minutes and then we got a little bit sloppy. I thought Nicholls State played really well in the second half and made a lot of plays.”
UCLA took control of Thursday’s game with a 19-2 run that extended the team’s lead to 33-10 midway through the first half. The Bruins reeled off four dunks sandwiched around two straight 3-point baskets from Alford.
UCLA shot 64 percent from the field in the first half and 80 percent from the free throw line, helping give the Bruins a comfortable 60-29 cushion at halftime. Nicholls State shot just 39 percent in the opening half and was out-rebounded by UCLA, 24-13.
The Bruins, off to a 3-0 start for the third straight season, will return to action against Long Beach State (1-2) on Sunday, Nov. 23. Game time is 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.
Game Notes: Bryce Alford, who made all six of his free throw attempts, has made a perfect 12 of 12 free throw shots in three games this season … Alford has recorded 32 assists and six turnovers in three games … Isaac Hamilton finished with nine points, five assists and just one turnover in 31 minutes … Norman Powell (7-of-14) and Bryce Alford (11-of-22) are both shooting 50 percent from the 3-point arc this season … freshman Kevon Looney has averaged 16.3 points and 12.3 rebounds in his first three collegiate games … UCLA has hit the 100-point mark five times in 40 total games under head coach Steve Alford (three games last season, twice this year) … UCLA will close a four-game homestand against Long Beach State on Sunday evening before playing three games in as many days next week in the Bahamas (Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament, Atlantis Resort).