Stephen F. Austin vs UCLA

UCLA runs past Stephen F. Austin and into Sweet 16 wire reports

SAN DIEGO -- UCLA is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time in six seasons, a big step in the right direction for a program whose tradition was tarnished in recent seasons.

The Bruins don't want to stop there.

"We've had a good overall season but our work isn't done," sophomore forward Kyle Anderson said Sunday after the Bruins beat Stephen F. Austin 77-60 reach the NCAA tournament regionals for the first time since 2008. "They don't hang Sweet 16s up in Pauley."

No, they don't. Expectations are always high in Westwood because of the 11 national championship banners hanging in Pauley Pavilion, the first 10 coming under John Wooden and the last one coming in 1995.

The fourth-seeded Bruins (28-8) will play Florida, the tournament's overall top seed, in the South Regional semifinals on Thursday in Memphis.

"It's a tough turn-around for us and we're going to play arguably the best basketball team in the country right now, but it's good to see us back in that mix and back in that discussion," said first-year coach Steve Alford, who has won as many NCAA tournament games in three days as the Bruins had in the previous five seasons combined. "That's what's been a lot of fun."

Alford replaced Ben Howland, who was fired a year ago after the Bruins lost to Minnesota in their NCAA tournament opener. This is UCLA's first trip to the regionals since Howland got the Bruins to their third straight Final Four in 2008.

Florida beat UCLA in the national championship game in 2006 and again in the national semifinals the following season. The Gators also eliminated the Bruins in the second round in 2011.

Jordan Adams scored 19 points, Norman Powell had 16 and Anderson had 15 points and eight rebounds.

"It's a great feeling," Anderson said. "This is what guys come to UCLA for. A storied program, this is what you want here. We've beaten some good teams lately and now we've got the Florida Gators. This is what I know Jordan and myself came to UCLA for. We're going to have some fun with it."

The Bruins have won five straight and seven of eight overall, including an upset of Arizona, the No. 1 seed in the West, in the Pac-12 tournament championship game.

"It's a special thing and we're looking forward to next week," said Alford, who helped Indiana win the 1987 national title. "These two guys to my left have had an awful lot to do with it," he said, referring to Adams and Anderson. "Kyle and Jordan have been tremendous all year with their leadership and they brought and raised the bar for their teammates, and that's a special trait to have."

Stephen F. Austin (32-3), the No. 12 seed, was held to 35.1 percent shooting (20 of 57) and had its 29-game winning streak snapped. The Lumberjacks hadn't lost in exactly four months.

SFA coach Brad Underwood said the Bruins are "going to have a chance to advance a real long way."

Thomas Walkup had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Lumberjacks while Desmond Haymon had 17 points and Nikola Gajic added 10. Haymon's four-point play sent the Lumberjacks into overtime against fifth-seeded VCU on Friday night and SFA won 77-75.

The Lumberjacks hadn't lost since Nov. 23, a 66-58 defeat at East Tennessee State. After Wichita State lost to Kentucky to have its 35-game winning streak snapped, SFA's 29-game streak became the nation's longest, for about 3 hours.

"I'll say what I told the team -- I couldn't be prouder," Underwood said. "We didn't have a great year. We had a year for the history books. ... A 29-game winning streak, they don't know how good that really is. That's very, very special."

The Lumberjacks head back to Nacogdoches, Texas, at least having earned the first NCAA tournament victory in school history. They are 1-2 overall in two tournament appearances.

The Lumberjacks stayed with the Bruins through much of the first half before the mismatch in talent and pedigree became obvious.

The Bruins, in the NCAA tournament for the 46th time, went on a 12-2 run in just less than 3 minutes, starting with a runner in the lane by Alford's son, Bryce. Alford also had a 3-pointer that helped UCLA take a 32-21 lead with 5:44 left.

Three-pointers by Deshaunt Walker and Haymon closed the gap to five points before the Bruins finished the half on a 10-5 run to lead 42-32. Tony Parker had two layups and Adams a 3-pointer to help keep the lead in double digits.

Powell, who played at San Diego's Lincoln High, opened the second half with two big plays, a slam dunk and then a coast-to-coast drive with a behind-the-back move followed by a layup for a 46-32 lead.

UCLA had 22 assists and only three turnovers.

"They annihilated us in transition," Underwood said. "It's not that they're just athletic, they're extremely skilled and very, very unselfish. And they're a very well-coached basketball team."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Stephen F. Austin #12 322860
UCLA #4 «423577
SFA:T. Walkup 22 Pts
SFA:T. Walkup 11 Reb
SFA:J. Parker 4 Ast
UCLA:J. Adams 19 Pts
UCLA:K. Anderson 8 Reb
UCLA:T. Wear 5 Ast

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Stephen F. AustinUCLA
Thomas Walkup
Kyle Anderson
Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
D. Haymon, G373-118-1023317
J. Parker, F341-73-49435
T. Walkup, G3410-172-2111222
N. Gajic, F264-80-060310
T. Pinkney, G160-20-00250
D. Walker, G242-110-01026
T. Clayton, F90-10-02020
D. Cameron, G80-00-00010
C. Brooks, G-F70-00-01120
B. Brown-White, F10-00-00000
J. Dotson, G10-00-00000
J. Martin, G10-00-00000
S. Sergeant, F10-00-00000
R. Westbrook, G10-00-00000
P. Costello, FDid Not Play
Totals 20-5713-1632112360
UCLA Bruins
K. Anderson, G-F365-94-885115
J. Adams, G328-122-353219
T. Wear, F282-60-03534
N. Powell, G236-94-411416
D. Wear, F182-30-03125
B. Alford, G252-44-43409
T. Parker, F-C184-60-23218
Z. LaVine, G150-31-21141
K. Alford, G10-00-00000
D. Brown, G10-00-01000
N. Kazemi, G10-10-00000
A. Williams, G10-00-00000
N. Allen, G-F10-00-00000
S. Derboghosian, CDid Not Play
W. Bail, FDid Not Play
I. Hamilton, GDid Not Play
Totals 29-5315-2328221777
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
New Orleans13-520-12154
Texas A&M-CC12-624-12159
Hou. Baptist12-617-14176
SF Austin12-618-15203
Sam Houston10-821-13195
SE Louisiana9-916-16249
Nicholls St.7-1114-17253
Abil Chr.7-1113-16289
Nwestern St.7-1113-16306
Incarn Word7-1112-17303
C. Arkansas7-118-24311
McNeese St.4-147-22315

Pac 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Arizona St.7-1115-18124
Wash. State6-1213-18163
Oregon St.1-175-27281
Other games
STAN 60 Final
KAN 57
UK 78 Final
UNC 83 Final
MER 63 Final
BAYL 85 Final
MEMP 60 Final
UVA 78
GONZ 61 Final