Sunday, December 11, 2016

No. 2 UCLA Downs Michigan, 102-84

Game Recap: Men's Basketball |  | UCLA Athletics | Article Link

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LOS ANGELES – TJ Leaf scored a game-best 21 points and Lonzo Ball added 19 to lead No. 2 UCLA (10-0) past Michigan, 102-84, before a sellout crowd of 13,571 in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night.

The Bruins held Michigan (7-3) to just under 35 percent shooting in the second half and pulled away late in the second half to secure their 10th consecutive win.

Ball's deep 3-pointer at the end of the first half helped UCLA even the score with Michigan, 50-50. The Wolverines made 12 of 16 three-point shots before the intermission.

"I couldn't be more pleased after scoring 97 points at Kentucky and scoring 102 against, what I think, is a very sound defensive team in Michigan," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "It became a gun-slinging deal in the first half, and it continued in the second half and those are games we like to play."

UCLA made 74 percent of its shots in the second half, connecting on 20 of 27 total field goal attempts. Bryce Alford, who finished with 18 points, scored 13 points after halftime.

Late in the first half, Michigan used a 15-2 scoring run that included three 3-pointers to secure a 48-41 lead. UCLA rallied just before halftime, taking advantage of 3-point shots from Isaac HamiltonAaron Holiday and Ball.

"Every shot I take, I expect to make it," Ball said. "I was in rhythm in the first half."

Alford finished with 18 points for UCLA, which has opened its season with a 10-0 start for the first time since going 14-0 to begin its 2006-07 campaign. Holiday totaled 17 points and Hamilton had 14 to round out the Bruins' list of five double-figure scorers.

Holiday was a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc, becoming UCLA's first player to pull off that accomplishment since Kyle Anderson was 5-for-5 in a loss at Utah on Jan. 18, 2014.

The Bruins were without junior 7-foot center Thomas Welsh, who was held out of the game nursing a bruised right knee that he sustained in practice. Welsh is listed as day-to-day and is questionable for Wednesday's non-conference tilt against UC Santa Barbara.

G.G. Goloman filled in for Welsh in the Bruins' starting lineup, totaling six points and two rebounds in 10 minutes. Ike Anibogu recorded six points, four rebounds and four blocks off the bench, totaling a season-high 25 minutes.

UCLA reached the 100-point mark for the fourth time this season and has averaged 97.5 points per game, through 10 contests.

Michigan's Zak Irvin led the visiting Wolverines with 18 points, connecting of 4 of 6 shots from 3-point range. Duncan Robinson had 13 points off the bench, while Mark Donnal was a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and netted 12 points.

Michigan pulled to within five points in the game's final five minutes, but UCLA's 10-4 scoring run over the next 1:35 gave the Bruins an 87-76 cushion with 6:07 to play.

The Bruins extended their margin to 16 points on an emphatic dunk by Leaf with 3:22 remaining. From that point, UCLA's cushion never fell to fewer than 14 points.

UCLA's game on Saturday night came after the team had concluded its fall quarter final exams. It marked the team's first game since a 97-92 win at previously No. 1-ranked Kentucky (Dec. 3).

The Bruins are back in action against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Game time in Pauley Pavilion is 7:30 p.m. UCLA's game versus the Gauchos will be televised on Pac-12 Network.


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