Arizona State tried time and time again to get back into the game, but No. 3 UCLA had enough firepower to blow by the Sun Devils 102-80 in a Pac-12 Conference game Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Isaac Hamilton had a huge first half and finished with 33 points for UCLA (19-1, 6-1 Pac-12). The Bruins are off to their best start since going 21-1 to begin the 1991-92 season. Hamilton made nine 3-pointers, tying a school record held by Jason Kapono and Bryce Alford. Hamilton received stitches for a lacerated tongue after the game and was not available for interviews. "He got it rolling tonight, and the guys did a good job of finding him," UCLA coach Steve Alford told the Los Angeles Times. TJ Leaf posted 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Bruins. Aaron Holiday had 13 points and eight assists, while Lonzo Ball contributed 10 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds. Torian Graham came off the bench to score 26 points for Arizona State (9-10, 2-4). Tra Holder added 22 points. Hamilton had the hot hand early, scoring 16 points over the first 6:17 to fuel a 23-5 run. The Bruins took an 18-9 lead on Hamilton's third 3-pointer and went up 28-9 on his fourth. Graham buried back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an 8-0 run for Arizona State. The Sun Devils cut the deficit to 11 on two free throws by Holder, but the Bruins had too much firepower. They responded with a 12-0 run to take a 40-17 lead on a layup by Gyorgy Goloman. UCLA extended its lead to 25 points on another 3-pointer by Hamilton. Arizona State battled back, staging 7-0 and 8-0 runs to get within 15 on a layup by Holder. The Bruins carried a 54-39 advantage into the locker room at the break. Hamilton made seven 3-pointers and finished the first half with 25 points, two shy of his previous season high. "You can just see how talented they are," Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley told the Arizona Republic. "When you scout and prepare for UCLA, Hamilton might be the fourth guy you're talking about in terms of priorities just because of the players they have." In the opening half, UCLA shot 62 percent from the field, made 11 3-pointers and outrebounded Arizona State 24-12. The Sun Devils shot 38 percent. Arizona State carried the momentum into the second half. The Sun Devils got within 10 on a jumper by Kodi Justice, cut the deficit to eight on a basket by Ramon Vila and trailed by seven following a layup by Holder, but the Bruins mounted a 14-0 run to pull away. UCLA went up 75-61 on a 3-pointer by Holiday. The Bruins stretched the lead to 21 points on a dunk by Ball and led by as many as 27 points in the final minutes. UCLA shot a sizzling 60.3 percent from the field overall and amassed a 43-34 rebounding advantage. The Bruins also shot 59.3 percent from 3-point range, making 16 of 27 from beyond the arc. Arizona State shot 41 percent and made 11 of 34 from long distance. Graham and Holder combined to make 18 of 38 field-goal attempts, but the rest of the team combined to make just 14 of 40 from the field and 3 of 16 from 3-point range. NOTES: UCLA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will be honored for receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, during Saturday's game against Arizona. ... UCLA's 11-game home winning streak is its longest since the Bruins won 15 in a row at home in 2013-14. ... Junior G Tra Holder became the 36th player in Arizona State history to score 1,000 career points.
No. 3 UCLA routs Arizona State 102-80
The Sports Xchange | Jan 20