LOS ANGELES, Sporting Alert — Bryce Alford scored 24 points, including 16 in the first half and TJ Leaf added a double-double, as No. 4 UCLA beat California 81-71 on Thursday night.
AP TOP 25 WINS
No. 5 Gonzaga, No. 17 Arizona, No. 19 Saint Mary’s, No. 20 Purdue and No. 25 USC were the other AP Top 25 ranked teams with wins on the night.
For the Bruins (15-1, 2-1 Pac-12), Alford shot 8 of 13 from the floor and knocked down five 3-pointers in the win at Pauley Pavilion.
Leaf added 17 points and 11 rebounds, his seventh double-double for the season, while Lonzo Ball finished with 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds and three steals and Thomas Welsh ended with 10 points and six boards for UCLA, which secured its fifth straight win over California.
Grant Mullins scored 19 points to lead the Golden Bears (10-5, 1-2), who trailed by 20 with 5:54 left but trimmed the deficit to five points at one point before the Bruins connected on 5 of 6 free throws in the final 22 seconds to pull away again.
CAREER-HIGH IN DEFEAT
[epq-quote align=”align-left”] – No. 18 Butler hands No. 1 Villanova first loss of the season
– Mykhailiuk makes winning layup; No. 3 Kansas tops Kansas State, 90-88
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– Tatum leads No. 8 Duke to blowout win over Georgia Tech, 110-57[/epq-quote]Ivan Rabb scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds, Don Coleman scored 15 points off the bench and Charlie Moore scored 13 in the defeat for California, which was losing three of its last four.
All three defeats came against AP Top 25 teams.
UCLA led 44-24 at halftime and head coach Steve Alford admits his team kind of took its foot off the gas in the second half.
“They did think this was too easy in the first half. That’s no disrespect to Cal,” the elder Alford said. “We thought it was going to be easy and we shut it down in the second half.
“Those are some valuable lessons to learn.”
GONZAGA STAYS UNDEFEATED
Fifth-ranked Gonzaga stayed undefeated this season with a 95-80 win over San Francisco on Thursday night.
Nigel Williams-Goss scored a career-high 36 points on 12 of 15 shooting to go with 11 rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs (15-0, 3-0 West Coast Conference).
“The last game being sick, for myself, I wanted to kind of pick it up a little bit and just come out with a full focus and energy,” Williams-Goss said.
Jordan Mathews scored 16 points, Killian Tillie had 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench and Przemek Karnowski score 10 points for the Zags, who shot 61 percent on 36 for 59 attempts.
Jordan Ratinho led San Francisco with 20 points, while Nate Renfro and Ronnie Boyce each had 13 points for the Dons (11-5, 1-2), who took 29 3-pointers and made just seven.
In other scores involving teams in the latest AP Top 25 ranking on Thursday night, Dusan Ristic scored 18 points to help No. 17 Arizona beat Utah 66-56, while Jock Landale had 24 points and eight rebounds to help 19th-ranked Saint Mary’s registered an 81-68 win over BYU.
Elsewhere, No. 20 Purdue held on for a close 76-75 victory over Ohio State and No. 25 Southern California easily take care of Stanford 72-56 on Thursday night.
AP Top 25 College Basketball Scores
Thursday, Jan. 5
No. 4 UCLA 81, CALIFORNIA 71
No. 5 GONZAGA 95, SAN FRANCISCO 80
No. 17 ARIZONA 66, SAN FRANCISCO 56
No. 19 SAINT MARY’s 81, BYU 68
No. 20 PURDUE 76, OHIO ST. 75
No. 25 SOUTHERN CAL 72, STANFORD 56