UCLA beat ASU, 102-80. The star with 25 points in the first half alone was Isaac Hamilton:
A week after teammate Bryce Alford made a school-record nine 3-pointers, Hamilton tied the mark originally set by Jason Kapono in 2003.
Hamilton finished with 33 points and made 9 of his 14 attempts from 3-point range. He made his final shot from beyond the arc with 4:36 to play, missed one 30 seconds later, but didn’t attempt another in the final 3:57, begging the question if he knew how close he was to a school record.
The performance left Hamilton speechless. He cut his tongue in the game and needed stitches afterward, leaving him unavailable to talk to media.
However, the undisputed leader Lonzo Ball spoke for UCLA and Isaac. Isaac has been slumping got out of the slump in a big way, as Lonzo said:
Said Ball, whose one-handed outlet pass led to Hamilton’s ninth three-pointer: “Obviously, he’s back.”
When Hamilton is hot, UCLA is unstoppable. As ASU coach Bobby Hurley, who is still an arrogant Dukie, put it:
"You can just see how talented they are," Hurley said. "When you scout and prepare for UCLA, (Isaac) Hamilton might be the fourth guy you're talking about in terms of priorities just because of the players they have. Their transition game hurt us. They really get the ball down the court quick. Our roster is set up to play at a quicker tempo, and it's not a great situation when you face someone that is a little bit deeper and bigger and better at than you are."
Hamilton is quite a fourth option. Despite what Hurley says, UCLA is the best offensive team in college basketball in years.
UCLA opened the game in a more dour mood, as if it had been insulted by Arizona State Coach Bobby Hurley calling Kentucky the fastest team he had seen after the Wildcats bludgeoned his team by 46 points two months ago.
The Bruins were certainly a blur in the early going, making their first six shots and taking a 21-9 lead less than five minutes into the game. That put them on pace for 168 points.
By the time Hamilton made his seventh three-pointer later in the half, the Bruins held a 25-point advantage and the scoreboard could have read Hamilton 25, Arizona State 21.
So, a fourth option alone was beating ASU for a while. Take that, Bobby.
Go Bruins! Beat the wildcats Saturday.