No. 22 UCLA beats pesky Morehead State 81-70
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Jordan Adams' freshman season ended early when he broke his foot, and UCLA's postseason hopes crashed soon afterward.
He's come back with a vengeance.
Adams scored a career-high 30 points, the third time in four games that he's topped 20, and No. 22 UCLA pulled away from pesky Morehead State in the second half to win 81-70 on Friday night.
Kyle Anderson had a big night, too, notching his first career triple-double. The sophomore finished with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the school's first triple-double since Toby Bailey had one in 1995, when UCLA won the last of its record 11 national championships.
''The sky's the limit for both of us,'' Adams said. ''We're the captains, so with us going out there and putting up these numbers we have to bring it every night with the same intensity.''
Freshman Zach LaVine added 12 points for the Bruins (4-0) in a regional game of the Las Vegas Invitational. They play Chattanooga on Sunday before heading to Sin City for their final two tournament games over Thanksgiving weekend.
Asked if he ever had a triple-double, new UCLA coach and former Indiana star Steve Alford replied, ''I don't know that I had one. I didn't pass a whole lot.''
Chad Posthumus had a career-high 21 points and 18 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes for the Eagles (4-2) in their first meeting with UCLA. Brent Arrington added 17 points, including five of his team's 10 3-pointers.
''It's tough when they are hitting as many shots as they did, and we had a couple of turnovers,'' Posthumus said. ''If we had gotten a couple of more shots we could have won the game.''
Morehead State matched UCLA on the boards with 36 rebounds, but shot just 37 percent and had 13 turnovers.
The Bruins, who led by 17 points in the first half, missed their first three shots and had a turnover to start the second half.
Posthumus continued on his shooting tear that began with 7 minutes left in the first half, when the Eagles faced that 17-point deficit. He scored 10 of Morehead State's first 16 points during a stretch in which they closed to three points four times.
''Chad was the best post player on the court,'' Eagles coach Sean Woods said. ''If we make a couple of plays then it would be a different outcome.''
The Eagles suddenly went cold, and the Bruins capitalized with a 12-3 spurt that extended their lead to 71-57. Anderson scored five points and Travis Wear, playing his first game since having an appendectomy on Oct. 28, dunked and got fouled, making the free throw. Wear finished with 11 points.
''It was like 100 mph. I got out there and I was kind of like a deer in the headlights,'' said Wear, who first practiced on Wednesday. ''I kept trying to tell myself, slow down. I was excited to get out there.''
Morehead State hit three 3-pointers in the final 2:47 to get back within single digits.
The Eagles haven't beaten a ranked team since 2011, when they upset Louisville 62-61 in the NCAA tournament.
Morehead State took its second lead of the game, 18-17, on a 3-pointer by Angelo Warner. Arrington hit a 3-pointer to open the game.
The Bruins answered with a 20-2 run, including four 3-pointers, to go up 37-20. LaVine hit two of the 3s while scoring eight points. Adams had five, and Wear four.
''Anytime you're on runs like that you get defensive stops,'' Alford said. ''When this team gets defensive stops, we're very good in transition.''
The Eagles had the last run of the half, an 18-9 spurt that drew them to 46-38 at halftime. Posthumus scored eight points and Warner had five.