A 9-2 run would cut the Bruin lead to just four points, as Jaylin Walker's three-pointer made it a 54-50 with 16:41 to go in the game. From that point on, we have won nine out of 10. Probably not. The Bruins have talent coming out of their ears with studs like TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and of course, Ball.
UCLA raced out to a big lead and held on through numerous defensive lapses, pulling away late for a 97-80 victory over scrappy Kent State on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament South Region.
"It's everybody's dream to say they go dancin', you know.kind of disappointed about the loss, but you know, we went against a good UCLA team, you know, it was ranked in the nation, we gave them our best punch", said Kent State guard Deon Edwin.
Meanwhile Cincy coach Mike Cronin has his team steeped in the art of defense and they are going to need to keep the Bruins from creating a track meet type of atmosphere.
Only three teams have beaten UCLA this season - Arizona (twice), OR and USC. Leaf sprained his left ankle March 1 and missed the following game against Washington State, but has been close to his scoring (16.2) and rebounding (8.3) averages in the last two games. For the Bruins to get that far this season, they'll have to get past another bruising, physically imposing Midwestern team Sunday, when they take on No. 6 Cincinnati here for the right to advance to face either Kentucky or Wichita State in Memphis next week.
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According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, UCLA is the slight favorite in this game, as the Bruins are getting odds of -4 points against the Bearcats. Defensively, the Bruins allow 75.5 points per game.
Ball finished with 15 points and had three assists to break UCLA's all-time season assists record. He has pulled down six rebounds each in the two games since Boucher got hurt.
While Jackson's return boosted the Jayhawks, senior Frank Mason III proved as reliable as ever while scoring 22 points and adding eight assists on Friday. Kent State really had no answer for defending him, and even lost track of him a few times, which you don't really want to do with UCLA's leading scorer. The 6-foot-8 guard started and played 23 minutes, putting together a highlight-reel performance that included several impressive finishes at the rim while adding seven rebounds. Ball had 15 points in the win while T.J.
But let's just start with Kent State.