Saturday, February 25, 2017

No. 5 UCLA to Face No. 4 Arizona on Saturday


The Bruins (25-3, 12-3) will play at No. 4 Arizona (26-3, 15-1) on Saturday in a game televised by ESPN.

TUCSON, Ariz. – No. 5 UCLA (25-3, 12-3) will play its final regular-season road game on Saturday evening at No. 4 Arizona (26-3, 15-1). Game time is 5:15 pm PT (6:15 pm MT). The Bruins' game will be nationally televised on ESPN, with Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas calling the action and Maria Taylor serving as the sideline reporter. UCLA's game will be broadcast on the radio in the Los Angeles area on AM 570 (KLAC).
Venue: McKale Center (14,644)
Tipoff Time: 5:15 p.m. (PT)/6:15 p.m. (MT)
Television: ESPN
TV Talent: Dan Shulman (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst), Maria Taylor (sideline)
Radio: AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
- UCLA has three games remaining on its regular-season schedule. The Bruins play at Arizona this Saturday (Feb. 25) before returning home to face Washington (March 1) and Washington State (March 4) in Pauley Pavilion.
- The Bruins have gone 6-0 through February and are the only Pac-12 program this season to have logged a perfect record this month. No UCLA team has gone undefeated in February since the 1994-95 squad went 9-0.
- UCLA's overall field goal percentage (53.3%) is the highest mark in the nation. No team in NCAA Division I has shot higher than 53.0% in a single season since Duke finished with a 53.6 percentage as the 1992 NCAA Champions.
- The Bruins have averaged a nation-leading 21.9 assists per game, the highest per-game average of any NCAA Division I team since 1991, when Final Four participant UNLV set the NCAA record with 24.7 assists per game.
- Most recently, senior guard Bryce Alford moved into the No. 6 slot on UCLA's all-time scoring list (1,817 points) after scoring 15 points and dishing six assists in the team's 87-75 win at Arizona State on Thursday night.
- The Bruins continue to lead the nation in points per game (92.1), assists per game (21.9), total assists (612), assist-turnover ratio (1.85) and overall field goal percentage (53.2 pct), through games played Thursday, Feb. 23.
The Bruins extended their win streak to six games – all in the month of February – by defeating Arizona State, 87-75, before 10,176 at Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz., on Thursday night. TJ Leaf (25 points, nine rebounds) recorded his ninth game of the season with at least 20 points. Aaron Holiday registered 17 points and six assists off the bench, connecting on 4 of 7 shots from three-point range. Bryce Alford had 15 points and Ike Anigbogu scored a career-high 12. UCLA led by a 45-36 margin at halftime before its cushion was reduced to 51-50 midway through the second half.
UCLA has picked up Pac-12 "road sweeps" at Colorado and Utah (Jan. 12-14) and at Washington State and Washington (Feb. 1-4). In six seasons that the Pac-12 has included Colorado and Utah, the Rocky Mountain road sweep has been accomplished just four times – by UCLA in 2013 and 2017 and by Arizona in 2014 and 2015. UCLA has gone 11-2 in road and neutral site games this season, including a 97-92 win at then-No. 1 Kentucky on Dec. 3.
Bryce AlfordIsaac Hamilton and TJ Leaf have each scored at least 32 points this season, with all three performances taking place in Pac-12 play. Alford had a career-high 37 points at Colorado (Jan. 12), Hamilton recorded a season-high 33 points versus Arizona State (Jan. 19) and Leaf had 32 points at Washington State (Feb. 1). In all, six Bruins – including Lonzo BallThomas Welsh and Aaron Holiday – have scored at least 20 points in a game this season.
Alford's 37 points (Jan. 12) were the most scored in a game by any UCLA player since Feb. 10, 2005, when Dijon Thompson had 39 points in UCLA's 95-76 home victory against Arizona State. TJ Leaf's 32 points at Washington State were the second-most points scored by a freshman in school history. Don MacLean registered 41 points in a win over North Texas on Dec. 30, 1988.
Lonzo Ball (15.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 7.5 apg) has emerged as a legitimate National Player of the Year and Freshman Player of the Year candidate. He has twice secured Pac-12 Player of the Week honors and will enter this Saturday's game as the nation's only player to have averaged at least 10 points, four rebounds and seven assists per game. He continues to lead the nation in both assists per game (7.5) and total assists (211), having recorded UCLA's highest single-season freshman assist total. He has surpassed Pooh Richardson's mark of 179 assists in 1985-86.
UCLA has averaged 92.1 points per game, the fourth-highest average in school history (1971-72 averaged a Pac-12-best 94.6 ppg). UCLA's 21.9 assists per game is the second-highest mark in school history behind the 1973-74 team (22.4 apg), since the assist was regularly tracked by UCLA in 1973-74. The Bruins' 1.85 assist-turnover ratio is the highest mark recorded at UCLA (since 1978-79). In the NCAA record book (since 1992-93), UCLA's 1.85 ratio is the second-highest figure behind West Virginia's 2.01 mark set during the 2005-06 season.
UCLA has shot 41.7 percent from three-point range (the third-highest mark in school history). UCLA's single-season school record of 285 three-pointers has eclipsed the Bruins' mark of 262, set in 2008-09.
UCLA looks to even the season series against Arizona this Saturday. The Bruins dropped a 96-85 decision to the Wildcats on Saturday, Jan. 21, in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA leads the all-time series against Arizona, 54-42. In the previous meeting this season, Lonzo Ball scored a team-leading 24 points and had eight assists as one of five Bruins to score in double figures. Arizona's Kobi Simmons tallied a team-leading 20 points, along with six rebounds and five assists, and Lauri Markannen had 18 points. In all, six Arizona players scored in double figures in the game at UCLA.
Bryce Alford ranks No. 6 on UCLA's all-time scoring list (1,817 career points). He scored a career-high 37 points, connecting on nine three-pointers, in UCLA's win at Colorado (Jan. 12). The senior guard has scored in double figures in 23 of 28 games and is currently shooting 50.5 percent from three-point range in Pac-12 games (55/109).
Isaac Hamilton scored a season-high 33 points, connecting on 9 of 14 three-pointers, in UCLA's 102-80 win over Arizona State (Jan. 19). Hamilton had 25 points in the first half in that victory. He has averaged 13.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. Hamilton is one of three Bruins to have made at least 55 three-pointers this year.
Lonzo Ball, a national player of the year candidate, leads the nation in assists per game (7.5) and total assists (211). Averaging 15.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, Ball's 211 assists are the most in one season by a UCLA freshman (he surpassed Pooh Richardson's previous freshman record of 179 assists during a victory on Feb. 1).
TJ Leaf has scored at least 20 points in nine games. He ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring (17.0 ppg) and is tied for fifth in rebounding (8.8 rpg), through Feb. 23. Leaf scored a season-high 32 points and had 14 rebounds in the win at Washington State (Feb. 1), connecting on 14 of 18 shots. He has totaled a team-leading 11 double-doubles.
Thomas Welsh (10.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.5 bpg) has made 30 of 32 free throw attempts. He made his first 28 free throw attempts after having ended the 2015-16 campaign with 16 consecutive made free throws. That established a new school record (44 straight), eclipsing Darren Collison's streak of 43 consecutive free throws in 2008-09.
Aaron Holiday has averaged 13.1 points, 4.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game, appearing in all 28 games off the bench. He ranks third in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage (44.3%, 47/106) and fourth in assists per game (4.5) through Feb. 23. His 43.2 career three-point percentage (175/473) ranks fifth on UCLA's all-time list.
Ike Anigbogu, (pronounced EE-kay ahn-ee-BOH-goo) a 6-foot-10 forward/center from Corona, Calif., has averaged 4.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 12.9 minutes per game off the bench. He scored a career-high 12 points in the win at Arizona State (Feb. 23) and has twice blocked a season-high four shots.
- G.G. Goloman has averaged 3.7 points and 2.4 rebounds per game, averaging 11.1 minutes off the bench for the Bruins. A 6-foot-10 forward from Körmend, Hungary, Goloman has totaled 21 blocks in 27 games (0.78 bpg). Goloman, who has shot 57.5 percent from the field, scored a career-high 12 points in a win over CSUN (Nov. 13).
UCLA has gone 14-1 in Pauley Pavilion this season. The Bruins' 11-game home win streak was snapped with a 96-85 loss to No. 14 Arizona. That had been the Bruins' longest home win streak since securing 15 straight wins in 2013-14, Steve Alford's first season in Westwood. UCLA last had an undefeated home record in 2006-07, going 16-0 in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins have gone 72-13 in Pauley since the arena reopened Nov. 9, 2012, after an 18-month renovation.
UCLA totaled 30 assists in its 102-80 win over Arizona State on Thursday, Jan. 19. That marked the Bruins' first game with at least 30 assists since Feb. 23, 1995, when UCLA totaled 32 assists in a 104-88 win over California. The Bruins have also recorded 29 assists in three games this season. Prior to the game against California in 1995, 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.
Bryce Alford ranks first (and second) in school history in single-season three-pointers made and is second in career three-pointers. He made a school-record 93 treys in 2014-15 (sophomore) and has closed on that record this season, having made 91 three-pointers as a senior. Alford has made 304 career three-pointers, second-most at UCLA behind Jason Kapono (317, played from 2000-03). Alford has made at least 70 three-pointers in three consecutive seasons, becoming just the second player in school history (along with Kapono), to have accomplished that feat.
Head coach Steve Alford has led UCLA to at least 20 victories for the third time in his four seasons at UCLA. Over his last 10 years as a collegiate head coach, Alford's teams have won at least 22 games in nine of those 10 seasons (including the 2016-17 campaign). This marks the second time in four years at UCLA in which Alford has led the Bruins to at least 23 regular-season victories. UCLA went 23-8 during the 2013-14 regular season before posting a 5-1 record in postseason play, culminating in the 2014 NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.
This marks the 42nd season in the last 51 years in which the Bruins have won at least 20 games (spanning 1966-67 through 2016-17). The Bruins are seeking their 26th regular-season victory this Saturday. UCLA has won at least 26 regular-season games two times in the previous 11 seasons, having accomplished that regular-season win total in 2006-07 (26 victories) and 2007-08 (28 victories).

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