The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Rupp Arena - Lexington, KY

No. 1 Kentucky drops close game against No. 11 UCLA

2037 days ago
Associated Press
Photo: Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Isaac Hamilton scored 19 points, T.J. Leaf had 17 with 13 rebounds and No. 11 UCLA shot 53 percent to beat No. 1 Kentucky 97-92 on Saturday, its second upset of the top-ranked Wildcats in as many years.

The Bruins (9-0) matched their season scoring average to win this showdown of college basketball's winningest schools in their first-ever visit to Rupp Arena, and end the Wildcats' 42-game home winning streak. Kentucky (7-1) cut a 14-point second-half deficit to 95-92 on Derek Willis' 3-pointer with 8.3 seconds remaining but Bryce Alford's two free throws with 7.4 left sealed the victory.

Besides hitting 35 of 66 from the field, UCLA outrebounded Kentucky 41-38 and limited the Wildcats to 41 percent shooting. It was the most points scored against a Kentucky team coached by John Calipari.

Hamilton and Leaf led another balanced offensive performance that featured 14 points by Lonzo Ball, Alford and Thomas Welsh, and 13 by Aaron Holiday.

Malik Monk had 24 points and De'Aaron Fox added 20 for Kentucky.


UCLA: The nation's third-highest-scoring team (97.0 points per game) was right on pace with a 49-45 halftime lead built with 58 percent shooting, including 6 of 12 from long range. Holiday was the hottest to start, making all four baskets with two 3-pointers. Ball (nation-leading 9.6 assists per game coming in) followed up a three-point first half with 11 after the break and finished with seven assists.

Kentucky: The Wildcats overcame a 3-of-9 start to reach 50 percent from the field in the first half before a 1-of-8 spell to close the opening 20 minutes. They never got it going in the second half despite making 5 of 13 from long range.


The Bruins' second straight win over Kentucky figures to move them into the Top 10. Kentucky should tumble a few spots, though not many.


UCLA: Hosts Michigan on Dec. 10 in the first meeting between the schools since 2011. The Bruins lead the series 11-5 but have lost the last two in the series.

Kentucky: Hosts Valparaiso on Wednesday night.


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