LOS ANGELES (AP) — Freshman Jaylen Hands scored a career-high 23 points and Prince Ali added 20 points to lead UCLA to a 106-73 win over Detroit Mercy on Sunday.
The Bruins (7-1) have won four consecutive games. Detroit Mercy (4-4) has lost its last two.
Hands scored 17 of his 23 points in the first half. The true freshman was seemingly unstoppable in transition. Twice in the first half, Hands turned his own steal into breakaway, high-flying dunks. One was a right-handed dunk and the other was of the two-handed variety. The freshman made his first four shots.
UCLA was grooving in transition with all sorts of dunks from just about everyone, Kris Wilkes and Chris Smith included. On consecutive offensive plays, Wilkes scored on a highlight-reel two-handed reverse dunk and then a layup. Hands had a reverse dunk, too.
The Bruins made seven 3-pointers in the first half, shooting 43.8 percent from behind the arc during the firs half.
For Detroit Mercy, Kameron Chatman scored a team-best 18 points, and Corey Allen added 15.
UCLA got 25 points from its bench in the first half to help build its 52-35 halftime lead. The Bruins continued to push the ball up the floor in the second half as well, and that was something the Titans couldn’t slow down.
The only other time the teams have played was in the NCAA Tournament in 1999, and Detroit Mercy upset UCLA in the first round as a No. 12 seed.
The Titans couldn’t keep up with the speed and passing and transition game of the Bruins in this contest and therefore never challenged. They were also outrebounded 26-14 in the first half and were unable to get many second-chance opportunities. UCLA, on the other hand, had eight offensive rebounds in the first half and scored 10 second-chance points.
Detroit Mercy will learn much about its mental makeup during the next two weeks after this loss at UCLA and a key game against Michigan on Dec. 16 on the road.
UCLA is gearing up for pivotal matchups when it plays at Michigan on Saturday and hosts No. 11 Cincinnati on Dec. 16, both of which are nationally televised games.
Detroit Mercy: Hosts Toledo on Wednesday night.
UCLA: Hosts Montana on Wednesday night.
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