TUCSON, Ariz.—McKale Center was decked out in red, but the men donning blue held their own in the first half.
UCLA men’s basketball shot 56.3 percent from the floor and forced seven turnovers by No. 13 Arizona as the Bruins head into halftime leading 44-34.
Freshman guard Jaylen Hands hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the last minute of the half – including one from 30-feet out as the buzzer sounded – and led the team with 11 points. All eight rotation players scored, and junior guard Aaron Holiday chipped in 9 points on 4-of-8 shooting, while stealing the ball twice while the Wildcats attempted to inbound the ball.
Coach Steve Alford’s squad missed its first six shots from long range but hit its last six during a half-ending 14-3 run.
Foul trouble, however, plagued UCLA.
Holiday, senior center Thomas Welsh and freshman guard Kris Wilkes all picked up the second personal fouls midway through the first half and as a result headed to the bench. Wilkes recorded his third foul on an offensive charge – his second of the game – with less than two minutes remaining.
Arizona center Deandre Ayton – a likely NBA draft lottery pick – led Arizona with 8 points, but only shot 4-of-12 from the field.