Friday, December 30, 2016

No. 2 UCLA Plays at Oregon State on Friday

dec 29, 2016 | ucla men's basketball page | ARTICLE LINK
The Bruins will close the 2016 calendar with a game at Oregon State on Friday evening.

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – No. 2 UCLA (13-1, 0-1) returns to action at Oregon State (4-10, 0-1) on Friday evening at Gill Coliseum. The Bruins saw their season-opening 13-game win streak snapped on Wednesday, dropping an 89-87 decision at No. 21 Oregon. After Friday night's game, the Bruins will return home with games on the schedule next week against California (Jan. 5) and Stanford (Jan. 8) in Pauley Pavilion.

Venue: Gill Coliseum (9,604)
Tipoff Time: 8:05 p.m. (PT)
Television: Pac-12 Network
TV Talent: Greg Heister (play-by-play), Bill Walton (analyst)
Radio: AM 1150
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)

The Bruins game on Friday, Dec. 30, will be televised by Pac-12 Network and is set for tipoff at 8:05 p.m. (PT). Greg Heister and Bill Walton will have the call on Pac-12 Network. The Bruins lead the all-time series against Oregon State, 93-37, with the two programs having split a pair of regular-season games last year. In fact, UCLA won at Oregon State (Jan. 20, 2016), before the Beavers evened the season series by winning at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion (March 5, 2016).

Prior to UCLA's win in Gill Coliseum last January, the Bruins had lost three consecutive games at Oregon State since their 62-57 victory on Jan. 13, 2011. UCLA's three-game losing streak in Corvallis came after the Bruins had won six consecutive games in Oregon State's home arena (2006-11).

UCLA lost its first game of the season at No. 21 Oregon on Wednesday night, dropping an 89-87 decision. Oregon's Dillon Brooks nailed a game-winning three-pointer in the final second of regulation – with 0.8 seconds left on the clock – to help the Ducks erase an 82-74 deficit in the game's final four minutes. Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh each scored 20 points for the Bruins, who had opened their season with 13 consecutive victories. Welsh also had a team-leading 10 rebounds in his first game back since suffering a bruised right knee in practice on Dec. 7.

UCLA saw its season-opening 14-game win streak end during the 2006-07 season with a two-point loss at Oregon during the opening weekend of Pac-10 play (Jan. 6, 2007 – Oregon won, 68-66). In addition, the Bruins' 1994-95 team dropped its first (and only game) of the season at Oregon, ending a six-game win streak, before that team won the 1995 NCAA title (Jan. 5, 1995 – Oregon won, 82-72).

With a 13-0 start this season, UCLA had raced to its best start to any season since 2006-07, when the Bruins won 14 straight games. UCLA has opened a season with at least 13 straight wins 12 times (nine of those campaigns ended with UCLA winning the national title). Since John Wooden retired at the conclusion of the 1974-75 season, UCLA has posted win streaks of 10 games or longer 14 times (including this year's streak).

Through 14 games, the Bruins have six players who have averaged in double-figure scoring (Leaf, Hamilton, Alford, Holiday, Ball and Welsh). TJ Leaf (17.2), Bryce Alford (16.6) and Isaac Hamilton (15.7) all rank among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in scoring (through Dec. 28). Seven of UCLA's eight regular contributors have recorded more assists than turnovers, with the only exception being freshman forward/center Ike Anigbogu. Six of those eight Bruins have assist-turnover ratios of 1.6 or higher (Lonzo Ball's 3.5 ratio leads all Pac-12 players).

Freshmen TJ Leaf (17.2 ppg 8.9 rpg) and Lonzo Ball (13.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 8.1 apg) rank among the top 10 in multiple categories in the Pac-12. Leaf has twice been named the conference's player of the Week (Dec. 5, Dec. 19) and ranks first among all Pac-12 players in overall field goal percentage (65.4%). Ball, named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Nov. 28, is the nation's only player averaging at least 10 points, five rebounds and eight assists per game. Ball and Oregon guard Payton Pritchard are the nation's only freshmen to have recorded at least 13 assists in one game this season.

Senior Bryce Alford ranks No. 12, nationally, among all active players in career points (1,597), through Dec. 28. In fact, Alford is the only player on that list's "top 20" who competes in a Power 5 conference. Alford, who has scored at least 20 points in the Bruins' last three games, ranks No. 18 on UCLA's career scoring list. As a senior in 2016-17, he has averaged 16.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, shooting 85.5 percent from the free throw line and 47.1 percent from the field. He has scored in double figures in 13 of UCLA's 14 games this season.

Senior Isaac Hamilton is one of 99 active players who has scored at least 1,100 career points. The former standout at nearby St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, Calif.), Hamilton has scored at least 11 points in 13 of UCLA's 14 games this season. In fact, Hamilton has scored in double figures in 42 of UCLA's last 46 games, dating to the start of the 2015-16 campaign. He has registered five or more assists in five games and five or more rebounds in five contests. He finished with 17 points and eight rebounds in UCLA's 86-73 win over Ohio State in Las Vegas (Dec. 21).

Freshman Lonzo Ball has nearly as many assists (114) as he does shot attempts (127). Ball ranks second in the nation in assists per game (8.1), trailing Creighton senior guard Maurice Watson Jr. (9.0 apg). Ball, a 6-foot-6 guard from Chino Hills, Calif., set UCLA's single-game freshman assists record (13) against UC Riverside on Nov. 30, surpassing Pooh Richardson's 12-assist total from Jan. 11, 1986 in a double-overtime win at Washington State. Richardson owns the school's single-season assists per game record (7.6 apg as a senior in 1988-89).

- Through games played Dec. 28, UCLA ranked first in the nation in field goal percentage (54.9), total assists (326) and assists per game (23.3) and second in points per game (95.1) and assist-turnover ratio (1.9). In addition, the Bruins were fourth in the nation in 3-point percentage (42.8) and fifth in scoring margin (20.1 ppg).
- With a 102-84 win over Michigan on Dec. 10, the Bruins improved their all-time record against the Wolverines to 12-5. In fact, UCLA became the first team since Duke on Dec. 8, 2001, to have eclipsed the 100-point mark against the Wolverines. UCLA has compiled a 3-0 record this season against teams from the Big Ten Conference.
- The Bruins shot 67.2 percent against Michigan (39/58), the highest mark by any UCLA team since Dec. 23, 2005, when the team shot 67.3% (37/55) against Sacramento State. UCLA's 62.5 three-point percentage against Michigan was its highest since Nov. 29, 2013, when the team shot 76.5% from downtown (13/17) against Northwestern.

UCLA has recorded a season-high 29 assists in three games this year (vs. Pacific on Nov. 11, vs. Portland on Nov. 24 and vs. UC Riverside on Nov. 30). Previously, UCLA had not had as many as 29 assists since Dec. 31, 2006 (vs. Washington). UCLA last reached the 30-assist total in a game on Feb. 23, 1995, recording 32 assists at California (UCLA won, 104-88). The Bruins also had 32 assists on Nov. 27, 1993 (against Loyola Marymount) and on Feb. 23, 1989 (versus Washington). UCLA totaled 38 assists on Dec. 2, 1990 in the team's 149-98 win over Loyola Marymount.

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