UCLA 79 Cincinnati 67
Box score HERE
The first 20 minutes of basketball Sunday night were just about all UC could have hoped for.
The Bearcats led 33-30, holding the high powered UCLA Bruins to a season low for first half points. But the second half was a much different story, and ultimately the end of the story on UC's season.
The Bruins finally unleashed their fast-break, 80's L.A. Lakers, running and dunking offense and dropped 49 second half points on the dazed Bearcats in winning 79-67. After hitting just 37.5 percent of their shots in the first half, the Bruins nailed 63-percent in the second half. All five UCLA starters reached double figures. UCLA freshman Lonzo Ball was as advertised, scoring a game-high 18 points with 7 rebounds, 9 assists and just one turnover. Bryce Alford and TJ Leaf scored 24 of their 27 points in second half. The Bruins had 21 assists and turned it over just three times on the night.
The Bearcats finish their season 30-6, one win short of tying the 2001-2002 team for most wins in school history. The Bruins move to 31-4 and will face Kentucky Friday night in the Sweet 16.
After allowing 30 points in the first 20 minutes, UC allowed 10 inside the first three minutes of the second half as UCLA set the tone. A couple of three-pointers and a dunk and suddenly the Bruins had turned a three point deficit to four point lead. But they were far from done. The Bruins made UC pay dearly of every poor/rushed/missed shot the Bearcats fired up in the second half
Ball kicked things into the next gear with a personal 5-0 blitz and a Bruins 9-0 run had the Bearcats teetering at the 12:00 mark. The Bruins extended the run to 19-7 and pushed the lead to 64-52 by the 9:00 mark. The Bearcat were rattled and never recovered.
Jarron Cumberland was excellent off the bench, leading the Bearcats with 15 points.
Kyle Washington really struggled: 2 for 10, 4 points, 6 rebounds
Jacob Evans: 13 points, 5 rebounds
Troy Caupain: 9 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 turnovers
Gary Clark: 11 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists
The first half could not have gone much better for the Bearcats.
After missing five of their first six shots and falling behind 8-2, the Bearcats got rolling behind Kevin Johnson. The senior who had just one basket in his previous three games, scored eight straight points on a 12-0 UC run to give the Bearcats a 14-8 lead. Johnson scored 11 of UC's first 17 points. But he went from the 10:15 mark of the first half to the 1:48 mark of the game before scoring again.
The Bruins missed 12 of 17 shots to start the game. When Ball hit his first shot at the 8:30 mark of the first half, the Bruins trailed 19-15. UCLA's leading scorer T.J Leaf (16.4) picked up his second foul at the 7:35 mark of the first half and started 0 for 5.
The Bruins finally started to hit their offensive stride with a 10-4 run that gave them a 27-26 lead with 2:40 remaining in the half. The Bearcats hurt their own cause by committing eight turnovers in the first half. But UC led at the break 33-30 thanks to shooting 50-percent from the field, controlling the boards (19-12) and holding UCLA to 37.5 percent shooting. The Bruins did not have a fast break basket in the first 20 minutes.
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