By: UCLA Athletics
Spokane, Wash. - UCLA defeated its second Top 20 opponent in nine days, downing No. 20 Gonzaga, 71-66, on Saturday night at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Isaac Hamilton led four Bruins in double-figure scoring with 20 points. Tony Parker shot 8-of-9 from the field and scored 16 points, including 12 in the second half. Bryce Alford scored 13 points, breaking the 1,000 point barrier for his career, and Jonah Bolden recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.UCLA (7-3) jumped out to a 10-3 lead thanks to two buckets by Thomas Welsh and a pair of three-pointers by Hamilton. The Bruins extended their lead to as many as eight points, 13-5, after a three-pointer by Alford before Kyle Wiltjer's three-point shooting brought Gonzaga (6-3) to within three, 17-14. After just five minutes of play, the two teams combined to hit 12 of 16 shots, including 7-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Gonzaga took a 32-30 halftime lead after outscoring UCLA, 8-2, over the final four minutes of the half, and extended its lead to five points, 37-32, after an and-one from Domatas Sabonis.
Parker took over from there, scoring six of UCLA's eight points in an 8-2 Bruin run that saw UCLA regain the lead, 40-39.
After the lead see-sawed back and forth a few more times, UCLA went on another run midway through the second half to take the lead for good. Down 48-47, the Bruins scored nine-straight points, starting with another three-pointer by Hamilton and ending with a jumper by Alford that gave UCLA a 56-48 lead with 7:44 to play.
An Eric McClellan layup got Gonzaga to within one, 65-64, with 1:29 left to play, but Welsh put in a second-chance basket with 1:09 remaining, and Hamilton followed with a steal and layup to push UCLA's lead back up to five with 53 seconds left. Free throws by Josh Perkins made it a one-possession game, and Gonzaga got the ball back with 13 seconds to play and down three after an Alford three-pointer came off his hand a fraction too late to beat the shot clock. However, Kyle Dranginis' three-point attempt was no good, and Bolden grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Bolden's made free throws sealed the win for the Bruins with two seconds left.
The win was UCLA's second against a ranked team in the last nine days. The Bruins defeated No. 1 Kentucky in Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 3, 87-77.