UCLA knocks LMU from unbeaten ranks with 82-58 win
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jaylen Hands was whipping the ball around, getting it to all his teammates. When he wasn’t dishing out 10 assists, the sophomore scored 17 points for his first career double-double.
UCLA got balanced scoring in its most consistent game of the season and knocked Loyola Marymount from the unbeaten ranks with an 82-58 victory on Sunday night.
“I’m really finding out what I do well and want to come out and capitalize on it every game,” Hands said. “We did a really good job of not letting up after half. We had stretches of playing well for a long time.”
The Bruins (6-2) led all the way while holding the Lions (8-1) to their lowest point total of the season. LMU’s defense had been holding opponents to 56.5 points per game.
“There weren’t any lapses,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “Forty minutes of some pretty good effort.”
Hands assisted on UCLA’s first basket of the game by Cody Riley and kept on going. He set up Brown for a fast-break dunk and tossed up two alley-oop passes to the freshman for slams.
“Hands did a really great job,” Lions coach Mike Dunlap said. “He was very effective and controlled the tempo. He really got them out in transition.”
LMU came in having won by an average of 17.8 points during its streak.
But the Lions never got untracked. None of their starters had more than five points at halftime. James Batemon, who averages a team-leading 20.3 points, got in foul trouble and finished with seven points.
“Coach told us just pressure him 24/7,” said Chris Smith, who had eight points and 10 rebounds off the bench. “We were just trying to get him out of his comfort zone. Everybody guarding him did a good job.”
Dameane Douglas led the Lions with 11 points and Petr Herman added 10 points off the bench.
LMU got within nine points early in the second half before the Bruins ran off seven straight points, including Riley’s 3-point play, to go up 52-36.
The Lions answered with a 12-6 spurt in which Batemon scored six that left them trailing by 10. But he picked up his third foul. Eli Scott and Jeffery McClendon also got their third fouls over the final 9:58.
“Offensively, we really broke ranks,” Dunlap said. “We got impulsive. We didn’t go inside-out. We were settling for shots on the outside when we should have been going inside.”
UCLA closed the game on a 24-10 run featuring dunks by Prince Ali, Wilkes and Hands off his own steal.
The schools separated by 11 miles were playing for the first time since 2011, when the Lions upset the Bruins 69-58 in the teams’ season opener.
Loyola Marymount: The Lions have just one road game outside of California over the next 1 ½ months that includes the first weekend of West Coast Conference play, giving them a chance to start a new winning streak.
UCLA: The Bruins are in the midst of a key stretch of four straight home games against teams with impressive starts. So far, they’ve beaten Hawaii and LMU with Notre Dame and Belmont (with one loss each) coming up.
BIG MAN BATTLE
Rarely does the 7-foot-1 Brown go against someone taller than him. But he did in 7-3 Mattias Markusson, the Lions’ Swedish center.
“It was exciting,” Brown said. “I had more fun playing against him than anyone else.”
Markusson finished with eight points and six rebounds.
“We should have gotten the ball more to Mattias,” Herman said. “We just didn’t go inside enough and that got us in trouble.”
IN THE SEATS
The attendance of 8,242 was UCLA’s largest at home so far, no doubt helped by playing a local school, something the Bruins had done just once previously this season when they hosted Long Beach State in their second game. That contest drew 7,920 on a Friday night.
Loyola Marymount: At Cal State Fullerton on Wednesday in the second of three straight road games.
UCLA: Hosts Notre Dame on Saturday.