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Kent State Battles, But Falls To UCLA 97-80

Kent State Battles, But Falls To UCLA 97-80

Ball's injury could be another blow to third-seeded UCLA's already short roster. Ball had 15 points and three assists, setting a UCLA single-season record for assists in the process. He got 23 points and six rebounds and was always there, with a putback or a quick move in the lane, whenever the Golden Flashes got near.

"If you lose, you're done until next year, so that makes it a lot more pressure on you", Leaf said.

Kent State coach Rob Senderoff has urged his players to "write their own story", which is exactly what they have done in getting four wins over a six-day span to win the Mid-American Conference Tournament and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nine years.

Cincinnati is headed to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins had 25 against Kent State, led by Aaron Holiday's 11.

Regardless, Kent State's Jimmy Hall had a terrific individual performance.

UCLA AthleticsLonzo Ball (left) and T.J. Leaf lead the Bruins into a 2nd-round matchup with Cincinnati. This affords the Golden Flashes multiple opportunities to score in rapid succession, putting more pressure on the Bruins' defense.


By the time halftime arrived, they were back within striking distance, down 47-39.

"It matters that he just got up", Steve Alford said, wide awake through the potential nightmare. "Our shot selection wasn't the best".

If the Bruins are to avoid falling in the first round, Bryce Alford must fix his recent three-point shooting slump. They look dangerously good and hold a legitimate threat to UCLA. "Each game could be our last, so we've got to leave it all out there".

This is Cincinnati's seventh-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

UCLA had another strong offensive game, but continues to have issues on the defensive end, which could hurt later in the tournament. Hall leads the team in scoring, with 18.9 points per game and an eFG% of 52, rebounding, with 10.5 per game (12th in the nation); assisting, at 2.8 per game; and blocking, with 1.4 per game.

Ball passed Larry Drew II's previous program mark of 256 by one after recording three against Kent State. He was limping for a decent portion of the second half, and coupled with a thumb that still is obviously not completely healed (he had a wrap on that hand all game), he's very clearly not at 100%. "I was just looking at Gary [Clark] and I told Troy [Caupain] before the game 'I'm following your lead'". "I'm good", he said.


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