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Hands helps No. 17 UCLA beat Presbyterian 80-65

November 20, 2018
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UCLA guard Kris Wilkes (13) shoots over Presbyterian guard Davon Bell during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jalen Hill’s career night on the boards helped UCLA avoid a big upset.

Hill had 20 rebounds to lead UCLA to an 80-65 win over Presbyterian College on Monday night.

“Of course I knew, I was the one who was going to get them” Hill said of how many rebounds he had. “It was about activity. I do what I do for my team and stay in my role. That’s what I did.”

Jaylen Hands had 19 points for the 17th-ranked Bruins (4-0), who had to fend off a rally by the Blue Hose (3-3) before pulling away. UCLA built a 24-point lead early in the second half, but saw it dwindle to three points. UCLA’s 21 turnovers didn’t help matters.

“I thought that was as careless as we’ve been since we started the season,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “Our turnovers were extremely careless and that hurt our defense.”

Presbyterian College outscored UCLA 39-20 over the first 12:20 of the second half to cut UCLA’s lead to 61-58. That was as close as Presbyterian would get as UCLA answered with a 12-2 run to put the game away.

“I think it was a little bit of Coach getting on our (behind) and a little bit of our pride,” UCLA guard Kris Wilkes said. “It was like our pride got taken away a little bit by them coming in and making that run, period. The first group didn’t do too great and the second group fell right in behind us. We have to play for 40 minutes.”

Hill helped the Bruins cause by pulling down so many rebounds, including seven on the offensive end.

“Proud of J-Hill,” Alford said. “Thought he had a tremendous night. Not only did he get 20 rebounds but had three assists, no turnovers, got a blocked shot, got a steal, made 5 of 6 free throws. Loved his activity. That’s the motor we’ve got to have from J. He was a huge bright spot tonight.”

Bruins freshman Moses Brown made the first basket of the game a good one with a slam dunk. Brown, the 7-foot-1 center who became the first freshman to record double-doubles in each of his first three games, was back at it Monday but fell three rebounds shy of a double double. He had an assortment of dunks, including an alleyoop dunk after a long crosscourt pass from Hands.

Adam Flagler led Presbyterian College with a game-high 29 points.

“To play against basketball royalty in UCLA and in a historic venue like Pauley Pavilion was special for our program,” Presbyterian coach Dustin Kerns said. “UCLA is the biggest team in America and makes scoring and defending difficult. I was proud of our fight and (we) made it a one-possession game late in the game. We showed a lot of toughness and this made us better.”

RAINING THREES

Presbyterian College missed 19 of 22 3-point attempts in the first half. The Blue Hose attempted 45 3-pointers and made 10 of 23 in the second half.

BIG PICTURE

Presbyterian College (S.C.): The Blue House played back-to-back Top 25 teams as it lost its previous game to Marquette, 74-55. Those experiences against two of the best teams in the country should bode well in Big South Conference action.

UCLA: Is getting its newcomers plenty of experience and confidence, even if that playing time comes against teams that were outmatched. The Bruins also learned how to rally when its 22-point halftime lead was cut to 3.

UP NEXT

Presbyterian: Hosts St. Francis (NY) on Nov. 28, following a holiday break.

UCLA: Plays No. 11 Michigan State on Thursday in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational.

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