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#MarchMadness: Ball Fuels 2nd Half Takeover For UCLA, Dorsey's 27 Points lead Oregon To Sweet 16

Rhode Island freshman point guard Jeff Dowtin, right, shout out directions while Oregon guard Ben Casey defends a few feet away at Golden 1 Center during the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on March 19, 2017. PA photo art by T. Ray Harvey.


The 30 points the UCLA Bruins barely scored in the first half against Cincinnati in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament was not part of the Bruins’ DNA all season.

But in the second half, the Bruins put their offensive fingerprints all over the Bearcats and added little defense to complete the work at Golden 1 Center.

Lonzo Ball had 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, two steals, and made four 3-point shots to help send UCLA (31-4, 15-3 Pac-12) to the Sweet 16 by beating Cincinnati 79-67. Bryce Alford scored 13 points in the second half to finish with 16 total points for the game.

UCLA made 19 of 30 shots in the second half for 63.3 percent and connected on 7 of 14 shots beyond the arc. The Bruins also held the Bearcats to shooting 41.2 in the second half after Cincinnatti made half their shots in the first 20 minutes.

T.J. Leaf missed all of five of his attempts from the field, but came back to score 11 points in the second half. The Bruins point to their first-half woes.

“We’re not used to doing that,” Bryce Alford said. “T.J. and I...that’s our role on the team to be scorers and we were upset with the way both of us played. I talked to T.J. at halftime and made sure that he stayed aggressive. That’s all you can do is stay aggressive.”

Thomas Welsh had 11 points and seven rebounds while Isaac Hamilton added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists for UCLA. The Bruins only committed five turnovers. But it was the defense that turned it around for the Bruins.

“They (Cincinnati) do a lot of switching and I thought thought to start the game it was pretty good,” said. UCLA head coach Steve Alford. “We got out, ran, and did some things and then we started standing around looking at the switching. So we talked at halftime. When we get stops we’re a whole different type of offensive team. I thought our defense was the key in the second half.”

The game was tied 8-8 when the Bearcats went on a 6-0 run to lead 14-8 in the first half. The game went on to be tied three more times at 22, 24, and 27 before Cincinnati made it to halftime with a 33-30 margin.

Despite eight turnovers in the first half, the Bearcats made 12-of-22 shots from field, including four of six behind the arc. Johnson made two treys in 16 minutes. Cincinnati also had 19 rebounds in the first half.

The high-scoring Bruins made 12 of 32 shots from the field at 37.5 percent and only 4 of 14 3-point shots at 28.6 percent. UCLA only had 12 rebounds, four by Welsh in the first half. UCLA entered the game leading the nation in scoring at 90.6 per game and an overall field-goal percentage of 52.2.

UCLA jumped out in the second half with fire it didn’t show in the first 20 minutes. Bryce Alford made a 3-point basket that ignited a 10-3 run and UCLA lead 40-36. But that was only a brief moment.

The lead changed four more times until Ball made two straight 3-pointers and Bryce made a trey to put UCLA up 55-47 at the 12:25 mark. By seeing that the Bearcats were trying to shoot with them, the Bruins’ offensive onslaught continued.

Before Cincinnati knew anything, UCLA was ahead 64-52 on dunks, layups, and more long-range shots. The Bruins built up a 13-point lead and stayed in control the rest of the way.

Ball struggled in the first half as well with seven points, two rebounds, and zero assists. In the second half he came alive with 11 points, five rebounds, and nine assists. Ball played all 20 minutes in the second half.

“I just play the game the best way I feel I can play it,” Ball said. “Bryce and T.J. weren’t hitting the first half. That’s a good and bad thing. Bad that they are not scoring, but good that I know they are not going to that two halves in a row. Credit to them. It’s a good team effort.”

Jarron Cumberland came off the bench to lead the Bearcats Cincinnati (30-6). Kevin Johnson and Jacob Evans each had 13 points while Gary Clark added 11 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

UCLA will meet Kentucky in the Sweet 16.

“I told them that there is no shame in losing to UCLA in California, a team with maybe the top pick in the draft,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin said of his team. “I’m proud of them. They had an unbelievable season.”


UCLA leads the nation in scoring at 90.6 per game, overall field goal percentage of 52.2. Steve Alford has led the Bruins the Bruins to three NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances in the last four seasons and his son Bryce has played in all of them.

Bryce Alford: “Getting to the Sweet is very difficult let alone just getting into the tournament. So for me to be able to say at the end of my career I’ve been to three Sweet 16s at the end of four years is a blessing. I’m proud of that and the teammates I have had over the four years. It just shows we’ve been successful for four years. I know that the goal is to get to championship, (but) into the Sweet 16 is very difficult in and of itself.”

UCLA shooting guard Bryce Alford.

By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist

Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents


Tyler Dorsey had 27 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals, and made the game-winning shot to help No. 3 Oregon beat No. 11 Rhode Island 75-72 and send the Ducks to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Dillon Brooks had 19 points and seven rebounds, and Jordan Bell added six points, 12 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal for the Ducks (31-5, 16-2 Pac-12), who will play the Michigan Wolverines next week.

“He’s a player,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said of Dorsey. “He has that scorer's mentality I want him to have. But defense and rebounding? When he focus on those two he becomes a special player. I think that’s why he exploded here lately.”

Stanford Robinson had 21 points off of 10-for-12 shooting from the floor for the Rhode Island Rams (25-10, 13-5 Atlantic 10). Jared Terrell had 15 points, four steals, and six assists while E.C. Matthews contributed 13 points, four rebounds and one steal. Cyril Langeville had nine rebounds.

Oregon missed its first four shots of the game, but got back on track quickly, by making the next six of 11 baskets to lead 18-10.

Brooks picked up a technical foul for taunting a Rhode Island player with 8:20 remaining in the first half after he scored to give the Ducks a 25-18 margin. It was his second foul, which prompted Oregon head coach Dana Altman to sit him on the bench.

The Ducks were leading 30-22 until the Rams battled back with a 15-6 run to take a 37-36 lead on a 3-point basket by Robinson. Matthews put the Rams up 44-38 with 52 seconds left with a three-point play. Terrell made a basket with five seconds left to give Rhode Island a 46-38 halftime lead.

The Rams made 19 of 32 shots from the field at 59.4 percent in the first half. Robinson, who lead the rally making 6 of 7 baskets, had 13 points in 11 minutes of action. Oregon made 13 of 27 shots from the floor at 48.1 percent. Dorsey led the Ducks with 10 points.

Oregon committed 10 costly turnovers in the first half.

Capitalizing on an eight-point half-time lead, the Rams went up by 11 points on a basket by Robinson early in the second half. The Ducks put on their hard hats and went to work from there, led by Dorsey and Brooks.

Oregon outscored the Rams 23-10 and took lead back 68-66 on a 3-point basket by Brooks with 4:40 left to play. Brooks had made nine of the Ducks’ 11 points to reclaim the led. Dorsey scored nine points during the surge after Oregon’s 11-point deficit.

The Rams came back to tie the game and take the lead 70-68 on a basket by Terrell at the 3:07 mark. After Robinson made another basket, Dylan Ennis made a free throw and Dorsey hit a trey to tie the game 72-72. Ennis’ missed the second free throw allowed the Ducks to get an offensive rebound that created Dorsey’s shot.

On the Rams’ next possession, Jordan Bell got a steal for the Ducks from Terrell with 55 seconds to go in the game. Dorsey came down to hit a 3-pointer with :38.4 seconds left on the clock, and proved to be the game-winning basket.

Matthews missed a basket with six ticks to play and Brooks rebounded the ball to end the game. Dorsey came with 20-plus points in four straight games, a career best. He now has five-straight games in the 20s.

“I think my guys came out out and fought their hardest,” Terrell said. “We left it out there all season. We put everything out there. Just ended up coming up short.”

By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist

Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents


T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of The HOMICIDAL HANDYMAN OF OAK PARK: MORRIS SOLOMON JR.

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