Dec. 17, 2016
LAS VEGAS (AP) Aaron Holiday and Bryce Alford each scored 20 points and No. 2 UCLA overcame a rough shooting game from Lonzo Ball to beat Ohio State 86-73 on Saturday.
Isaac Hamilton scored 17 points and T.J. Leaf added 13, including a steal and layup that sparked the decisive run for the Bruins (12-0). They continued their best start since being 14-0 in 2006-07.
After a 12-turnover first half, UCLA led 44-40 when Leaf stole Micah Potter’s pass under Ohio State’s basket and scored over Potter. It started a 7-0 run that concluded with Leaf’s 3-pointer with 16:53 left.
Alford’s 3-pointer with 1:49 left put the Bruins up 81-71 and stopped Ohio State (8-3) from mounting a late comeback in the first game of the CBS Sports Classic.
UCLA: Ball’s arrival meant Holiday, last season’s starting point guard, was demoted. But the sophomore showed he can still make an impact. He had four rebounds and made 8 of 10 free throws. UCLA weathered a lackluster first half by upping the tempo in the second half behind Holiday.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes played a solid first half and did a good defensive job on Ball, but couldn’t stay with the speedy Bruins after halftime. Still, it was an inspired performance that should help their confidence.
UCLA hosts Western Michigan on Wednesday in its final non-conference game. The Pac-12 opener is a week later at No. 22 Oregon. The Bruins will return to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament in March.
Ohio State has home games Tuesday (Youngstown State) and Thursday (UNC Asheville) before opening Big Ten play Jan. 1 at Illinois.
More AP college basketball: www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.