LEXINGTON, Ky. — Exactly a year ago, an unranked UCLA side defeated a travelling No. 1 Kentucky team, on Dec. 3, 2015, and the Bruins repeated that result as a ranked team at Rupp Arena on Saturday.
All five starters reached double-digit scoring and UCLA upset the Wildcats 97-92 in an entertaining college basketball AP Top 25 battle.
Isaac Hamilton scored 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting and made three of his five 3-point attempts, while T.J. Leaf had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds to go with five assists for the Bruins (9-0), who were beating the Wildcats for the second season in a row.
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) December 3, 2016
Thomas Welsh added 14 points and eight rebounds before fouling out, Lonzo Ball ended with 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds and Bryce Alford chipped in with 14 points and made a few key free throws down the stretch for UCLA to stay undefeated this season.
Impressive freshman Malik Monk had a game-high 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting with five steals and fellow freshman guard De’Aaron Fox ended with 20 points and nine assists for the top-ranked Wildcats (7-1), who were losing for the first time this season.
UCLA, which shot 53 percent in Saturday’s win, entered the game averaging 97 points per contest and matched its season scoring average after Alford hit a pair of free throws with 7.4 seconds left at Rupp Arena.
The win also meant Kentucky’s 42-game home winning streak got snapped.
As a team, the Bruins went 35 of 66 on shooting overall from the floor, made 10 of 23 from long-range, while outrebounding Kentucky 41-38.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, since 1949 when the AP poll era began, UCLA has now defeated a No. 1 side 12-times in program history, which is second only to North Carolina (13).
The Wildcats took 80 shots on the day and were held to 41 percent from the field.
When the new AP College Basketball Top 25 rankings releases next week, the Bruins will certainly move up and into the Top 10, while Kentucky will certainly tumble from No. 1, especially since defending national champion and No. 2 Villanova stayed undefeated this season with another win Saturday.