UCLA blows past South Carolina State behind freshman Hands
Freshman guard Jaylen Hands scored a career high 22 points, senior center Thomas Welsh recorded his 21st career double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds, and No. 23 UCLA used a second-half surge to down South Carolina State, 96-68, Friday at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.
Just two nights after enduring an overtime scare against Central Arkansas, UCLA (3-0) led winless South Carolina State (0-4) by just six points with 10:25 remaining when Bulldogs senior guard Donte Wright made a 3-pointer to make it 63-57.
The Bruins went on a 14-0 run, however, holding the Bulldogs scoreless for 5:05.
Four Bruins including Hands scored in double figures, with freshmen guard Kris Wilkes adding 14 points to join Hands and Welsh. Freshman guard Chris Smith notched a career-high 15 points on 5 of 7 shooting.
Smith played just 19 minutes combined in wins over Georgia Tech and Central Arkansas, scoring six total points in the process. But he came alive in Friday, helping fill the void UCLA faces with freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley suspended indefinitely after shoplifting arrests last week in China.
Redshirt sophomore forward Alex Olesinski flirted with his first career double-double. He scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Senior forward G.G. Goloman scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds.
UCLA shot 55 percent from the floor as a team and outrebounded the smaller Bulldogs, 51-30, but South Carolina State hung around behind the hot 3-point shooting of Wright. He made 6 of 11 from deep en route to a game-high 23 points.
Sophomore forward Ian Kinard added 10 points for South Carolina State