mar 24, 2017 | UCLA MEN'S BASKETBALL
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – UCLA's NCAA Tournament run ended in the Round of 16 with an 86-75 loss to No. 2-seed Kentucky on Friday evening before 17,532 at FedExForum.
The No. 3-seed Bruins finished their 2016-17 season with a 31-5 overall record, logging the program's highest single-season win total since 2008.
TJ Leaf and Isaac Hamilton led the Bruins with 17 points each, and Bryce Alford finished with 13 points. Lonzo Ball had 10 points, and his eight assists moved him past Jason Kidd into second place on the Pac-12's single-season assists list with 274.
Friday night's game marked the final collegiate contest for Alford and Hamilton, who are both on track to graduate this year.
"Somebody that was really good wasn't going to win this game," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "I'm just really proud of our basketball team. I've been in the locker room telling them that. To have a group of young men, and it starts with my two seniors who've just had brilliant careers, not just on the court, but how they've grown as young men. And that's what the college experience is supposed to be all about."
The Bruins were trailing at halftime, 36-33, after a first half that featured 13 lead changes.
Kentucky's freshman duo of De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk combined for 60 of the Wildcats' 86 points. Fox and Monk registered 38 of Kentucky's 50 second-half points. Fox scored a career-high 39 points while Monk added 21.
Dominique Hawkins was the only other Wildcat player to score in double figures, totaling 11 points.
UCLA shot 52.7% to Kentucky's 49.2%, but the Wildcats scored 14 points off 13 UCLA turnovers. Kentucky committed just six turnovers, of which the Bruins could only convert into two points.
The first half was a close affair that saw 13 lead changes. A Leaf layup gave UCLA a 26-25 advantage with 4:30 to play, but Isaiah Briscoe hit a three-pointer at 3:27 to regain a lead the Wildcats would not relinquish.
The Bruins were playing in their third Sweet 16 in four years. No. 2-seed Kentucky won its 14th straight game and will face No. 1 seed North Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday at FedExForum.
The Final Box for the season
Thanks, UCLA!!! Good luck to Bryce, Isaac, Jerrod and Zo!!!