Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hamilton Helps No. 11 UCLA Down UC Riverside, 98-56

NOV 30, 2016 | ucla men's basketball | ARTICLE LINK

LOS ANGELES – Isaac Hamilton scored a team-high 27 points and Lonzo Ball recorded a freshman single-game UCLA record with 13 assists as No. 11 UCLA downed UC Riverside, 98-56, in Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday night.

Ball had a season-high 13 assists and just one turnover for the Bruins (8-0), who have opened the season with eight consecutive wins for the first time since the fall of 2013.

Ball, a freshman guard from Chino Hills, Calif., attempted just three shots (making two), in a record-setting display distributing the ball. His 13 assists were one more than Pooh Richardson's total in a double-overtime win at Washington State in 1986. Richardson had 12 assists as a freshman in his team's win in Pullman, Wash., on Jan. 11, 1986.

Hamilton tied his career high with seven 3-pointers in the Bruins' 42-point victory. He made 9 of 15 total shots, connecting on 7 of 12 attempts from beyond the 3-point arc.

The Bruins also received double-doubles from TJ Leaf (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Thomas Welsh (12 points, 12 rebounds).

UC Riverside (1-4) received a team-leading 17 points from Secean Johnson. Chance Murray scored 13 points and Gentrey Thomas added 12 to round out the Highlanders' list of double-figure scorers.

"We're glad we are 8-0 and undefeated through November," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "Now we start a difficult stretch of games in December. We've got a championship under our belt. We've taken care of our home games and have played pretty well, and I think we have improved. I think we are better now than when we played Pacific. That is a key if you want to keep getting better."

UCLA led Wednesday night's non-conference game from start to finish. The Bruins raced to a 17-3 lead before the game's first timeout – at the 13:45 mark. Welsh made each of his first four shot attempts, totaling eight points and six rebounds in the game's first seven minutes.

The Bruins led by 14 points – 23-9 – with 9:59 to play in the first half. UC Riverside reduced UCLA's cushion to six points, 31-25, after a 3-pointer from Thomas with 5:19 to go before halftime.

UCLA entered the locker room at the break with a 42-27 cushion.

The Bruins outscored the Highlanders in the second half, 56-29. UCLA opened the half with a 14-6 scoring run to lead 56-33 before pushing its margin to as many as 36 points with just over eight minutes remaining.

UCLA returns to action at No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday, as the Bruins will make their first-ever visit to Rupp Arena (Lexington, Ky.). Game time is 9:30 a.m. (PT). UCLA's game at Kentucky will be nationally televised on CBS. The radio broadcast will be available in the Los Angeles area on AM 570.

The Bruins defeated Kentucky in Pauley Pavilion last season by an 87-77 margin (Dec. 3, 2015).

UCLA is seeking its ninth consecutive victory and could become the Bruins' first team since the 2006-07 squad to open a season with at least nine straight wins. The 2006-07 team opened its season with 14 wins.

The Box

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