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Thursday, December 22, 2016
UCLA Improves to 13-0, Defeats Western Michigan 82-68
21, 2016 | ucla men's basketball page | post LINK
LOS ANGELES – No. 2 UCLA remained unbeaten with an 82-68 win over Western Michigan on Wednesday night before 10,965 in Pauley Pavilion.
The Bruins (13-0) closed the non-conference portion of their regular-season schedule with a perfect record for the first time since 1994-95, when that team went 9-0 in non-league action.
Bryce Alford led four UCLA players in double-figure scoring with 22 points on Wednesday, notching his fourth 20-point game of the season.
"Really proud of my team," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "We went really hard on Monday and Tuesday, and I hope that helps us down the road, but I like how we grinded against a really competitive team. I liked Western Michigan on film. They are well-coached."
Aaron Holiday scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and dished a career-high-tying seven assists for UCLA. TJ Lead added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Isaac Hamilton scored 11 points and registered eight rebounds and five assists.
"It's just finding a way regardless of how the course of the game is going," Bryce Alford said. "Whether we had a really slow start, didn't shoot the ball well and didn't guard the way we wanted to, especially in the first half. Whether we play well or not, we're just going to try to find a way to win."
Western Michigan (3-8) received a team-leading 22 points from Thomas Wilder, who surpassed the 1,000-career point mark on Wednesday.
UCLA led by as many as 16 points in the second half, 61-45, before the visiting Broncos ran off 10 consecutive points to cut the Bruins' lead to six with 11:17 to play. Bryce Moore's three-pointer with three minutes to go kept the Broncos within double digits, but UCLA used a 13-3 scoring run to increase its lead to 18 points – 82-64 – with one minute remaining.
Western Michigan jumped to a 7-1 lead to start the game and held the Bruins scoreless for five minutes midway through the first half before UCLA's defense turned the tables on the Broncos. UCLA limited Western Michigan scoreless over a six-minute stretch, using a 9-0 run to reclaim the lead, 28-21, on an Alford three-pointer.
The Bruins closed the first half with a 15-6 run to take a 45-33 lead at the break.
UCLA shot 50.0 percent from the field and totaled 22 assists. Western Michigan made 44.9 percent of its total shots.
The Bruins will return to action at No. 20 Oregon (11-2) on Wednesday, Dec. 28. Game time is 6 p.m. (PT). The Pac-12 Conference opener for both schools will be televised that evening by ESPN2.