No. 16 UCLA routs Pacific 119-80 behind record 18 3-pointers
LOS ANGELES (AP) Fun returned to Pauley Pavilion in a big way with the college debuts of Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf.
Those two were among four starters in double figures for No. 16 UCLA, which made a school-record 18 3-pointers in a 119-80 rout of Pacific in the teams' season opener on Friday night.
Ball just missed a triple-double with 19 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, while Leaf had 22 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
''Everything went well and I'm proud of the day that we had,'' Ball said.
Bryce Alford scored 30 points to lead the Bruins, making six 3-pointers. Aaron Holiday added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and Isaac Hamilton had 17 points in UCLA's run-and-gun offense that proved entertaining for the announced crowd of 8,743.
''It's just an opener, but when you can have an opener like this that word of mouth spreads,'' Bruins coach Steve Alford said. ''We are an exciting team to watch and it's worth coming out to see if you like us.''
Pacific was led by T.J. Wallace with 21 points despite foul trouble and Ray Bowles with 14 points. Former NBA player Damon Stoudamire lost his college coaching debut.
The Tigers weren't too shabby from 3-point range, either. They made 10 of 26, led by David Taylor, who made all three of his attempts.
But Pacific couldn't defend the Bruins' sharpshooters. They bettered the old record of 17 3-pointers set against Arizona on Jan. 19, 2002.
UCLA opened the game by hitting four consecutive 3s, with Ball sandwiching a pair around two straight by Alford. Ball followed his second 3-pointer with a dunk off Hamilton's alley-oop pass.
Later in the half, Ball dunked off Holiday's assist after Hamilton stole the ball.
''It was pretty nice. I think it will probably be on `SportsCenter,''' Leaf said. ''With the ball he can't really jump at all, but with it he can get up.''
That ignited an especially potent offensive stretch for the Bruins. Holiday scored 10 in a row, making two 3-pointers to start.
UCLA ended the first half on another 3-pointer by Holiday for a 63-39 lead.
Pacific never got close in the second half, when the Bruins led by 34 points early.
UCLA opened the half with a 15-6 run that began with 3-pointers by Alford and Hamilton. Leaf scored off Ball's alley-oop pass and then Leaf completed a three-point play.
Pacific: The Tigers have more ranked teams in their future. They play No. 14 Gonzaga on Dec. 31 and No. 17 Saint Mary's on Feb. 2 before facing those opponents later in the season on the road.
UCLA: The Bruins return 94.5 percent of their made 3-pointers, led by Alford, Holiday and Hamilton, who combined to hit 172 last season. Ball and Leaf will only add to the long-range threat.
The Bruins had 29 assists, with Hamilton dishing out eight and Holiday five. They kept the ball zipping around with no one afraid of making an extra pass.
''That's the way our game should be played. That's beautiful basketball,'' the elder Alford said.
Pacific freshman guard K.J. Smith is the son of former NBA guard and current TNT analyst Kenny ''The Jet'' Smith. The younger Smith went 0 for 3 – all on 3-point attempts – and missed his only free throw attempt in nine minutes.
The Bruins hadn't scored that many points since beating Montana State 113-78 in the 2014-15 season opener. It was their most points since beating Cal State Fullerton 120-91 on Dec. 13, 1997, under Steve Lavin. They never topped triple digits last season.
UCLA sophomore forward Alex Olesinski missed the game with a strained foot. He has worn a boot for two days and is questionable for Sunday's game. ''We're hoping it's short-lived,'' the elder Alford said. ''Got to let it calm down.''
The elder Alford pointed out UCLA is the only team in the Top 25 that had a losing record (15-17) last season. The Bruins' ranking to start the season reflects the hype around Ball and Leaf in addition to the quality of the team's returning players.
Pacific: The Tigers play Green Bay on Monday in their home opener as part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
UCLA: The Bruins play Cal State Northridge on Sunday, the second of four straight home games to open the season.
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