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UCLA blows by Washington for eighth straight win

By
The Sports Xchange

UCLA senior Bryce Alford made eight 3-pointers and moved to the brink of the school's all-time record while leading the third-ranked Bruins to a 98-66 victory over Washington in a Pac-12 Conference game Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

Alford scored 29 points for UCLA, which has won eight in a row since taking back-to-back losses in late January.

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Alford made 10 of 18 field-goal attempts and 8 of 14 from beyond the arc. He needs two more 3-pointers to match Jason Kapono's school record of 317.

Lonzo Ball posted 19 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals for the Bruins (27-3, 14-3 Pac-12). Isaac Hamilton added 15 points.

Noah Dickerson had 23 points and 15 rebounds for the Huskies, who lost their 11th game in a row. Washington (9-20, 2-15) also got 15 points from Matisse Thybulle.

The Huskies were missing freshman sensation Markelle Fultz, who leads the Pac-12 in scoring at 23.2 points per game. Fultz has sat out four of the past six games with a knee injury and is not likely to play the season finale against USC on Saturday.

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UCLA standout TJ Leaf sprained an ankle while blocking a shot early in the first half and had to be helped to the locker room. He did not return.

Leaf, a freshman forward who is averaging 16.8 points and 8.7 rebounds, is a key player in UCLA's quest to win its first national championship since 1995. Coach Steve Alford said it was too early to tell if Leaf would be able to play when the Bruins conclude the regular season at home against Washington State on Saturday.

"We've obviously got to get him back as soon as we can, but it was just a sprained ankle," Steve Alford said. "It's not a bad one, but we'll have to see what the next 48 hours look like as far as his availability for Saturday."

The Bruins will need Leaf in next week's conference tournament, but they still had more than enough firepower for the Huskies.

Bryce Alford and Ball combined for three 3-pointers in the first 1:33 to help UCLA race out to an 11-0 lead. Washington battled back to get within seven on a 3-pointer by Thybulle, but the Bruins quickly re-established a double-digit lead.

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UCLA went up 21-9 on a 3-pointer by Alford, stretched the lead to 13 on a dunk by Ball and later mounted an 8-0 run to take a 37-16 lead on a layup by Hamilton. The Huskies made a modest run to cut the deficit to 15, but the Bruins carried a 49-28 lead into the break.

The Bruins blew the game open early in the second half. They staged a 10-4 run to take a 59-32 lead on a jumper by Alford, and later went on an 11-2 run to go up 72-40 on a dunk by Ike Anigbogu.

UCLA led by as many as 42 points in the final minutes. The Bruins shot 52.1 percent from the field, made 14 of 27 from 3-point range, committed just eight turnovers and recorded 23 assists on 38 baskets.

Washington was held to 39.4 percent shooting. The Huskies made just 5 of 23 from beyond the arc, converted only 9 of 15 from the free-throw line and committed 20 turnovers.

"They're a really impressive team and you can't come out on the road and turn the ball over 20 times against that team," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said, according to the (Tacoma, Wash.) News-Tribune.

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NOTES:

-- UCLA freshman PG Lonzo Ball on Wednesday was named one of 10 national semifinalists for the 2017 Naismith Trophy, which is presented annually to the nation's most outstanding college player.

-- UCLA senior Bryce Alford has been named to the midseason watch list for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.

-- Lorenzo Romar, now in his 15th season as head coach at Washington, has 298 victories with the Huskies and 391 career wins overall.

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