UK trounces UCLA 83-42
CHICAGO (AP) — Devin Booker had 19 points and No. 1 Kentucky scored the game’s first 24 points in an 83-42 victory over UCLA on Saturday.
Aaron Harrison added 15 points, and the Wildcats (12-0) handed the Bruins (8-4) one of their most-lopsided losses ever.
The first meeting between the storied programs in eight years turned ugly as soon as the game started, with Kentucky dominating UCLA in every possible way.
The 24-0 run at the start of the game was eight shy of the record between two Division I teams, set by Connecticut against New Hampshire on Dec. 12, 1990. And the 41-point margin was seven shy of the Bruins’ record.
Wildcats led 41-7 at the intermission, the lowest points total in a half for UCLA and the fewest by a Kentucky opponent since December 1943.
Booker hit 5 of 6 3-pointers and 7 of 10 shots overall. Harrison made three 3-pointers, nailing one to start the game, and Kentucky hit 12 in all from long range to the delight of their cheering fans.
The Wildcats also stifled UCLA, with the Bruins missing their first 17 shots and going 18 for 71.
Bryce Alford scored 13 points for UCLA, but those points came after Kentucky put this one away — which didn’t take long.
The Wildcats erased all doubt about this one almost as soon as it started.
Harrison’s 3 from the wing got things started, and Kentucky just poured it on from there, blocking shots, breaking for dunks and nailing jumpers.
Wildcats fans just about came unglued after Harrison nailed a 3 to make it 16-0 with 16:27 remaining, chanting “Go Big Blue!” during a timeout. And the lead continued to climb.
Devin Booker capped the run with back-to-back 3-pointers and breakaway dunk off a block by Dakari Johnson against Bryce Alford to make it 24-0 with 12:40 left in the half.
The Bruins finally broke the shutout 23 seconds later on a layup by Kevon Looney in a crowd.
UCLA: UCLA’s most lopsided loss was by 48 against Stanford on Jan. 9, 1997.
Kentucky: All of the Wildcats’ wins are by double digits.
UCLA: Visits Alabama on Dec. 28.
Kentucky: Visits No. 4 Louisville on Dec. 27.