No. 2 UCLA beats Bellarmine at Empire Classic

November 23, 2021 GMT
UCLA guard Jules Bernard (1) shoots as Bellarmine forward Ethan Claycomb, left, and guard Juston Betz defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ellen Schmidt)
UCLA guard Jules Bernard (1) shoots as Bellarmine forward Ethan Claycomb, left, and guard Juston Betz defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ellen Schmidt)


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chet Holmgren scored 19 points and No. 1 Gonzaga breezed past Central Michigan 107-54 in the Empire Classic ahead of a Final Four rematch with No. 2 UCLA.

Gonzaga (5-0), the No. 1 team for the 19th straight week, has defeated its first five opponents by an average margin of 33.6 points.

Gonzaga, which came into the game averaging 89.8 points per game, topped the 100-point plateau for the first time this season behind double-digit scoring from five players.

Nolan Hickman finished with 16 points, Julian Strawther scored 15 points, and Drew Timme and Rasir Bolton each had 11.

The Bulldogs will face the Bruins on Tuesday, its second showdown with a top-5 opponent this season after beating then-No. 5 Texas 86-74 on Nov. 13. Gonzaga beat UCLA in last year’s NCAA Tournament 93-90 in overtime on a buzzer-beater by Jalen Suggs.

Central Michigan (1-3) was led by Harrison Henderson with 11 points

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Peyton Watson had 19 points, Johnny Juzang added 13 and No. 2 UCLA beat Bellarmine 75-62 on Monday night in the Empire Classic.

Watson shot 9 of 12 and had four rebounds, easily outpacing his 3.3 points average through four games this season.

David Singleton added 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting for the Bruins (5-0), who will face No. 1 Gonzaga on Tuesday night.

Bellarmine (0-5) lost in double digits for the fourth time in five games and is coming off consecutive losses against the nation’s top two teams. The Knights lost 92-50 at Gonzaga on Friday.


DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke beat The Citadel after Bulldogs coach Duggar Baucom collapsed on the court early in the first half and was taken to a hospital.

Baucom fell along the sideline barely a minute into the game and was taken to Duke University Hospital. The 61-year-old Baucom was conscious as he was helped out of the gym.

Freshman forward Paolo Banchero scored a career-high 28 points and Wendell Moore Jr. had 22 for Duke (6-0), which completed a five-game homestand with five double-digit victories. It was the Blue Devils’ last tuneup before Friday night’s clash with top-ranked Gonzaga.

Mark Williams added 14 points, Trevor Keels had 11 and Jeremy Roach had 10 for the Blue Devils.

The Citadel (3-2) made 18 baskets from 3-point range.


LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — TyTy Washington Jr. scored 20 points for the second straight game, Keion Brooks Jr. added 17 points and Kentucky beat Albany for its fourth consecutive victory.

The Wildcats (4-1) led throughout but played at a slower pace than usual in building a 46-35 advantage early in the second half. A few spurts, including an 8-0 run to make it 61-39 with 8:28 remaining, put the game out of reach.

De’Vondre Perry scored 18 points and Trey Hutcheson had 12 for the Great Danes (0-5), who shot 34% and made 6 of 13 from the foul line.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Fabian White Jr. scored 21 points and Houston rode a dominant first half to a win over Butler in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.

The Cougars (4-0) overwhelmed Butler early, scoring the game’s first 17 points while building a 21-point halftime lead. They weren’t quite as locked in at either end of the floor to start the second half, allowing the Bulldogs (3-2) to creep back in it before pulling away down the stretch.

Bryce Bolden had 16 points for Butler, which had 20 turnovers that led to 27 Houston points.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Connor Vanover scored 14 points, Chris Lykes was perfect from the foul line down the stretch and No. 13 Arkansas survived after blowing most of an 18-point lead to beat Kansas State 72-64 in the Hall of Fame Classic.

Lykes was 10 of 10 from the foul line on the way to 14 points. Au’Diese Toney added 13 points and JD Notae had 11 — though he was just 4 of 17 from the field — as the Razorbacks (4-0) advanced to play Cincinnati for the title Tuesday night.

The Bearcats overcame an early 15-point deficit to beat No. 14 Illinois 71-51 in their semifinal game.

The Wildcats (2-1) almost mounted an even bigger comeback, clawing back from a 42-24 deficit at the break.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Mike Saunders Jr. scored 20 points, Jeremiah Davenport added 19 and Cincinnati overcame an early 15-point deficit to blow out Illinois in the semifinals of the Hall of Fame Classic.

The Bearcats (5-0) trailed 23-8 in the opening minutes before charging back to take a 34-31 lead at the break. They piled on from there, pushing the advantage past 20 by the midway point of the second half as they coasted into the championship game against No. 13 Arkansas on Tuesday night.

Kofi Cockburn, who was suspended the first three games of the season for violating NCAA rules, had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Fighting Illini (2-2). Andre Curbelo added 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting with five turnovers.


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Meechie Johnson Jr. made a 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left and Ohio State beat Seton Hall in the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

Seton Hall guard Jamir Harris stole it and raced for a fast-break layup to tie it at 76 with 15.9 seconds left. Ohio State (4-1) elected not to call a timeout and Johnson made his team’s 11th 3-pointer — from NBA range.

Seton Hall (3-1) got it to Tyrese Samuel for a decent look at the buzzer but it bounced hard off the backboard.

E.J. Liddell led Ohio State with 28 points, making all 10 of his free throws and shooting 8 of 17 from the floor.


FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Colin Castleton scored 16 points, Tyree Appleby added 15 and Florida handled California in an opening game of the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

Myreon Jones added 13 points and Phlandrous Fleming Jr. 11 for the Gators (5-0), who will meet Ohio State for the title on Wednesday after the Buckeyes knocked off No. 21 Seton Hall in the first game.

Jordan Shepherd scored 15 points for Cal (2-3).


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Boogie Ellis scored 19 points and USC opened a double-digit lead less than three minutes into the game, rolling over Dixie State.

Max Agbonkpolo scored a career-high 17 points and Isaiah Mobley added 14 for the Trojans (4-0). Chevez Goodwin had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Cameron Gooden and Frank Staine scored 17 each for the Trailblazers (1-4), while Hunter Schofield added 10 points and eight rebounds. Dixie State, which moved to Division I last season, was playing USC for the first time.


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