Wednesday, December 23, 2015

UCLA Downs McNeese State, 67-53

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LOS ANGELES - UCLA closed non-conference play with a 67-53 win over McNeese State on Tuesday evening at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins (9-4) received double-double performances from Isaac Hamilton (18 points, career-high 11 rebounds) and Thomas Welsh (16 points, career-high 14 rebounds).
The first half was a game of runs, as UCLA went on an 8-0 run to turn a 9-9 game into a 17-9 advantage. McNeese State (2-8) countered with eight-straight points of its own to tie it up again at 17-17 before the Bruins went on another run, scoring nine straight, to regain the lead at 26-17 on a Hamilton layup. But McNeese State’s hot three-point shooting kept the Cowboys close, as they shot 6-of-14 from beyond the arc to keep UCLA’s advantage to just 30-27 at halftime.
The Cowboys’ hot shooting continued at the start of the second half, as a three-pointer by Jarren Greenwood tied the score at 30-30. UCLA answered, however, with a 13-2 run to take a 43-32 lead, its biggest of the game.
Consecutive baskets by Welsh increased UCLA’s lead to 12, at 56-44, with 9:11 to play, and the Cowboys never got closer than seven after that.
Along with Hamilton and Welsh, two other Bruins scored in double-figures – Bryce Alford with 13 points and eight assists and Aaron Holiday with 12 points. Tony Parker added six points with 11 rebounds. Jamaya Burr led McNeese State with 15 points, and Greenwood added 12.
The Bruins will begin Pac-12 Conference play on January 1 at Washington.

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