NOV 24, 2016 | tim tuttle | L.A. daily news | ARTICLE LINK
FULLERTON >> No. 14 UCLA rolled to a runaway first-round victory Thursday in the Wooden Legacy, blasting Portland, 99-77, Cal State Fullerton.
Star freshman Lonzo Ball scored 18 points and had 11 assists for the Bruins. He sat out the final 8:15.
The Bruins (5-0) play Nebraska (4-0), which held on to defeat Dayton, 80-78, in the second round tonight at 9 p.m. in Titan Gym. The Wooden Legacy’s championship game is Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at the Honda Center.
”We play a Big Ten team, an unbeaten team, tomorrow and it’s the best team we’ve played and our biggest test all year,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “Lonzo and TJ (Leaf) are learning as they go and they’ve doing a great job. “I think he (Ball) had a little slow starttonight, particularly defensively, but these guys feed off him, these guys trust him. When he gets rolling, he gets the team rolling.”
UCLA, primarily thanks for Ball’s passing, had six players score in double figures. Thomas Welch and Isaac Hamilton had 16 each, Leaf and Aaron Holiday 14 each and Bryce Alford 13.
Ball made 6-of-9 field goal attempts including 4-of-7 3 pointers, was 2-of-3 at the foul line and had 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
Welch, the 7-foot junior center from Redondo Beach and LA Loyola High, knocked down open medium range jumpers, making 8-of-10, en route to his season high. He also had a game-high 10 rebounds. The 6-foot-10 Leaf, a freshman from El Cajon, made 6-of-9 field goal attempts including one 3-pointer and added 9 rebounds.
Portland (3-1) held one possession leads on four occasions in the first half, the last time at 27-26, but the Bruins pulled way with an 11-5 spurt in the final four minutes for a 45-37 advantage at intermission.
Ball’s 3-pointer from the corner gave UCLA a 43-35 lead, its largest of the half.
UCLA opened the second half with a 17-4 run to take a 62-41 lead with 16 minutes to play.
Ball began the barrage with a 3-pointer from the corner and had a 3-pointer from the deep wing to end it. In between, Welch made a trio of 15-foot jumpers.