No. 19 UCLA tops Northwestern 95-79 for 7-0 start

Updated at: 11/30/2013 7:35 AM
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(AP) LAS VEGAS - Northwestern made nearly as many 3-pointers as UCLA. The problem was it took them nearly twice as many attempts.

Outmatched in the long-range shooting duel, the Wildcats fell 95-79 to the No. 19 Bruins in the final round of the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday night.

While Northwestern shot 37.5 percent (12 for 32) from beyond the arc, UCLA was a torrid 76.5 percent (13 of 17) from long range.

The Bruins ended up shooting 64 percent (35 of 55) for the game compared to 46 percent (23 of 50) for the Wildcats. JerShon Cobb led Northwestern with 22 points on 7-of-12 field-goal shooting, including 5-of-6 from 3-point territory.

"We contested a lot of those (UCLA 3-pointers)," Cobb said. "It’s tough, you can play good D and they still make the shot anyway. I don’t think it was keeping up with them; 3-point shots is something we do very well and we were just playing our game."

"What did we make, 13, and they made 12," UCLA coach Steve Alford said. "It was almost a wash. It was two teams that made an awful lot of 3-point shots. We can shoot the basketball. I think we’ve got a lot of guys that can shoot the basketball and stretch defenses. And because of our lineups and our versatility; there’s a lot of things that we can do in how we play.

"We’ve been getting in a groove. Obviously you can’t predict making those kind of shots, but as long as we keep getting good shots and we’re sharing the ball; we had another game where we had nearly 20 assists and I think we had 18 tonight. So that’s important that we share the ball, and we’re doing a good job of doing that."

Jordan Adams, Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford all scored 18 points for the Bruins (7-0), who finished 4-0 in the round-robin tournament to share the crown with Missouri, which also finished 4-0.

The tournament’s championship format was changed to round-robin this year to accommodate the Tigers and Bruins, who have a game scheduled for Dec. 7 at Missouri and didn’t want to play twice this season.

Tournament MVP Kyle Anderson added 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Bruins.

Byce Alford, the coach’s son, hit all four of his 3-point tries to set a career high for points.

Steve Alford became the first UCLA coach to win his first seven games. Hall of Fame great John Wooden started his Bruins stint 6-1 in 1948-49.

Kale Abrahamson scored 19 and Tre Demps had 15 for Northwestern (4-4), which went 2-2 in the tournament.

Northwestern’s leading scorer, Drew Crawford, did not play due to back spasms.

Crawford is averaging 14.3 points and 6.9 rebounds. He played only 12 minutes Thursday against Missouri, scoring two points on 1-of-6 shooting.

The Bruins’ percent success rate on 3s fell just short of the school record 76.9 percent (10 for 13) they hit from long range at California on Jan. 21, 1990.

The first half was a scoring fest for the Bruins, who went 19 of 25 from the field _ including 9 for 11 from beyond the arc. They jumped out to a 12-1 lead and never trailed.

UCLA was up 51-32 with 2 minutes left in the first half and the Bruins had their largest lead of 25 with 4:56 left in the game.

The Bruins next host UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday before traveling to Missouri.

UCLA nearly reached 100 points in three consecutive games. The last time that happened was from Dec. 3-29, 1971. That team won the national championship, going 30-0.

It was the first time the Bruins and Wildcats met since 1969, when UCLA won 81-67 at Chicago Stadium. Lew Alcindor led the Bruins with 35 points and 16 rebounds.

UCLA leads the series 4-1.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)