LOS ANGELES (AP) — Isaac Hamilton scored 27 points, tying his career-high with seven 3-pointers, and No. 11 UCLA routed UC Riverside 98-56 on Wednesday night to improve to 8-0, the Bruins' best start since coach Steve Alford's first season in Westwood three years ago.
Freshman T.J. Leaf added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Aaron Holiday had 18 points and Thomas Welsh had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Lonzo Ball, the nation's assist leader, set a freshman game assist record with 13 for the Bruins, who were coming off winning the title at last week's Wooden Legacy. They hit nine of their 13 3-point attempts in the second half.
Secean Johnson scored 17 points despite foul trouble and Chance Murray added 13 points for the Highlanders (1-4). Freshman Dikymbe Martin was held to five points after scoring 15 against Utah last week.
Five of UCLA's first six baskets in the second half were 3-pointers and Hamilton hit four of them, extending the Bruins' lead to 59-35.
Hamilton's sixth 3-pointer launched them on a 13-0 run that included another 3 for him and made it 69-35.
Ball set up his teammates with several nifty passes. He and Leaf teamed up three times in the second half. Ball dunked off Leaf's alley-oop pass and on the Bruins' next possession he set Leaf up for a dunk. Ball fed Leaf for another dunk later in the half that made it 85-42.
The Bruins put the game away in the first half when they shot 58 percent and opened with a 23-9 run.
The Highlanders defended better and outscored the Bruins 16-8 to close to 31-25.
UCLA ran off 11 unanswered points, including Ball's first points of the game on consecutive baskets, and led 42-27 at halftime.
UC Riverside: The Highlanders have just one win in their first five games, but they have played some good competition. They lost road games to Portland (16 points), UNLV (12 points) and Utah (18 points) before losing to the Bruins. Their lone win came against Fresno Pacific. Last year, they won 14 games, second-most in the Division I history of the program under fourth-year coach Dennis Cutts, who has things on the upswing.
UCLA: The Bruins have beat up some easy competition on their way to an undefeated start. That all changes Saturday when they face No. 1 Kentucky on the road. The game will give them a barometer on where they stand against the nation's best.
UC Riverside: Visits Santa Clara on Tuesday, capping a stretch of three straight road games.
UCLA: Plays at No. 1 Kentucky on Saturday for the third consecutive season. The Wildcats have been the nation's top-ranked team in each of the meetings. The Bruins upset them 87-77 last year at Pauley Pavilion for the school's first win over a No. 1 team since 2003. In 2014, the Wildcats won at home by 39 points.
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