UCLA 95, Northwestern 79

Steve Guiremand, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

LAS VEGAS -- Guards Jordan Adams, Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford each scored 18 points to lead UCLA to a record-setting 95-79 victory over Northwestern on Friday night in the Las Vegas Invitational at the Orleans Arena.
The win improved the Bruins to 7-0 and put coach Steve Alford in the record books. The 7-0 start is the best in UCLA history for a first-year coach, topping the 6-0 mark produced by the legendary John Wooden in 1948-49.
The Bruins connected on 13-of-16 shots beyond the arc (81.3 percent).
Guard Kyle Anderson also had a big night for the Bruins, narrowly missing his second triple-double in a week. Anderson finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists and earned tournament MVP honors.
The Bruins and Missouri, who play each other next Saturday in Columbia, Mo., and agreed last summer not to face each other in the tournament, were declared co-championships after both went undefeated in the tourney.
Guard JerShon Cobb scored 22 points and forward Kale Abrahamson added 19 points, including 5-of-10 3-pointers, to lead Northwestern (4-4), which trailed by as many as 24 points in the second half.
UCLA, which connected on 22 of its first 31 field goals, finished shooting 63.6 percent from the floor.
UCLA, which jumped out to a 14-1 lead in the first five minutes, led by as many as 19 points in the first half en route to a 51-38 halftime lead.
The Bruins, who came into the game shooting 54.4 percent from the floor, connected on 19 of their first 23 shots, including 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) from 3-point range.
Bryce Alford, the freshman son of UCLA coach Steve Alford, led the way with 11 points, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, and Anderson added 10 points and seven assists.
The Bruins missed their final two shots of the half and had to settle for shooting 76 percent from the floor.
Northwestern bounced back from its slow start -- the Wildcats missed their first five shots from the field -- and also shot well, connecting of 8-of-19 first-half 3-pointers (42.1 percent). Cobb closed the half with back-to-back treys to cut UCLA's lead to 13 at the intermission.
NOTES: Northwestern played without top scorer Drew Crawford, who sat out the game with back spasms that forced him to leave Thursday night's 78-67 loss to Missouri. ... UCLA came into the game leading the Pac-12 Conference in assists (20.5), steals (10.8) and free throw percentage (76.4). ... Bruins G Zach LaVine entered the game leading all Pac-12 freshmen in scoring (13.7) and 3-point shooting (52.2 percent, 12-of-27). ... This was the first meeting between UCLA and Northwestern since Jan. 24, 1969, when No. 1 UCLA overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat the Wildcats 81-67 at Chicago Stadium. UCLA had a pretty fair center on that team named Lew Alcindor, who later changed his named to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Alcindor had 35 points and 16 rebounds to pace the Bruins that night.

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