LOS ANGELES (AP) — Aaron Holiday scored 16 points and No. 3 UCLA rallied with a 14-0 run over the final 10 minutes to beat Washington State 77-68 on Saturday night for its ninth straight victory and a 16-1 finish at home.
Isaac Hamilton added 14 points and Thomas Welsh had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bruins (28-3, 15-3 Pac-12), who played without injured TJ Leaf. He wore a walking boot to protect his sprained left ankle and his No. 22 jersey over a gray hoodie while sitting on the bench.
Lonzo Ball had 12 points and 14 assists to break Gary Payton’s freshman Pac-12 assist record.
Charles Callison led the Cougars (13-17, 6-12) with 25 points. Josh Hawkinson added 16 points and 14 rebounds, becoming the school’s career rebounding leader.
Hawkinson scored six straight points and Callison hit a 3-pointer that put the Cougars ahead 47-44. The Bruins missed eight of 10 shots during a 4½-minute stretch and trailed 51-50.
Bryce Alford made a 3-pointer to launch the 14-0 run that gave UCLA a 64-51 lead. Ike Anigbogu came up with a big block of WSU’s Robert Franks as he was going in for what appeared to be a wide-open dunk.
Callison scored 13 of the Cougars’ final 17 points while the Bruins went 3 of 5 from the free throw line in the closing minutes.
The Cougars closed the first half on a 16-9 run to trail 35-34. Alford missed two 3-point attempts, airballing the first one, and Hamilton’s layup at the buzzer was declared no good.
Washington State: The Cougars head into postseason play having lost two in a row and seven of nine and don’t figure to hang around long.
UCLA: The Bruins enter next week’s Pac-12 Tournament as the league’s hottest team, but they could run into No. 6 Oregon and No. 7 Arizona in Las Vegas. They lost to both teams during the regular season as well as crosstown rival USC.
The court was crowded when Alford was introduced on Senior Night. In addition to his coach-father Steve and mother Tanya, brother Kory, sister Kayla, grandparents Sam and Sharan Alford, his uncle and his girlfriend were on hand. The elder Alford teared up and his son had to wipe his own eyes several times. Also bidding farewell to Pauley Pavilion were seniors Hamilton and Jerrold Smith, who has played a total of 33 minutes in his career.
The 1966-67 UCLA team that went 30-0 and won the national championship under coach John Wooden was honored at halftime on its 50th anniversary. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lucius Allen and team captain Mike Warren were on hand. They were part of Wooden’s second undefeated team.
Washington State: The Cougars will play an opening-round game in the Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
UCLA: The third-seeded Bruins will play in the tournament quarterfinals Thursday.