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Ball scores 22 to lead No. 10 UCLA past Oregon State 78-60

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LOS ANGELES (AP) With freshman Lonzo Ball taking over at both ends of the court, No. 10 UCLA forced a second-half change in tempo that made everything fall into place.

Ball had 22 points and nine assists as the Bruins ran away from Oregon State in the second half in a 78-60 victory Sunday.

“I’m just taking what the game gives me,” said Ball, who found himself on the finishing end of several alley-oop passes. “At the beginning of the season people were playing me to drive and pass. Today, I was just open a lot.”

After scoring a season-low 32 points in the first half, the nation’s top-scoring offense took control with a full-court press in the second half.

“Anytime we’re being aggressive on defense that’s when we’re playing our best,” UCLA guard Bryce Alford said. “Being active against a team like this that likes to control the tempo really helped get us going.”

After a loss to Southern California in January, the Bruins held a players-only meeting that has led to more Bruins increasing their intensity on the defensive end.

“We talked it out, hashed it out,” Alford said. “We said if we want to do what we want to do, reach the goals we want to reach we’ve got to play defense. We know we can play offense but that’s only part of the game.”

Ball made 9 of 12 shots as the Bruins (23-3, 10-3 Pac-12) shot 52 percent while winning their fourth straight after consecutive losses at the end of January.

“He’s impossible to guard,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said of Ball. “You try to squeeze him in transition with another player, he comes flying by you.

“Lonzo is a great passer. He has unbelievable vision and he can catch fire from beyond 3, but defensively I don’t think he gets credit for the things he creates for their team.”

TJ Leaf added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Bruins, who struggled offensively early as Oregon State played a more controlled style.

“They went to their press, and we didn’t have a problem with it, but we said in our first timeout, `Why do you think they’re doing it?’ To speed us up,” Tinkle said. “I thought we gave into it a little bit.”

Stephen Thompson Jr. scored 18 points and Drew Eubanks added 13 points and seven rebounds for Oregon State (4-22, 0-13 Pac-12), which has lost 13 in a row, and 18 of their last 19.

Coming off an 82-79 victory over No. 5 Oregon on Thursday night when they had to rally from a 19-point deficit, the Bruins found themselves trailing 27-24 more than 17 minutes into this one as the Beavers made six of their first 10 3-point attempts.

The Bruins, however, went on to score the first half’s final eight points for a 32-27 lead.

Up 40-34, the Bruins broke the game open with a 14-3 run, taking a 54-37 lead on Alford’s 3-pointer with 12:50 to play. The Bruins’ biggest lead was 71-48 with 5:43 remaining.

With the victory, the Bruins completed a home-and-home sweep of Oregon State, having beaten the Beavers 76-63 in Corvallis, on Dec. 30. This was UCLA’s first series sweep of OSU since 2012.

The Bruins also avenged an 85-82 upset loss to the Beavers in their last meeting at Pauley Pavilion on March 5, 2016.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon State: The Beavers have not beaten a Top 10 team since Jan. 11, 2015, when they upset then-No. 7 Arizona 58-56. OSU’s last Pac-12 victory was their season-ending win over the Bruins last March.

UCLA: With four games left in their Pac-12 Conference schedule, the Bruins find themselves in third place in the conference standings, behind Arizona (12-1) and Oregon (11-2). The Bruins came into the game leading the nation averaging 92.5 points per game, the third-highest average in school history (the 1971-72 UCLA squad averaged 94.6 points).

UP NEXT

Oregon State: The Beavers play host to Colorado on Thursday night. The Buffaloes beat the Beavers 85-78 in Boulder, on Jan. 26.

UCLA: The Bruins play host to Southern California on Saturday night looking to avenge an 84-76 upset loss to the Trojans in their first meeting this season on Jan. 25.

More AP college basketball: http://www.collegebasketball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25.

Buffalo sophomore arrested, charged with strangulation, witness intimidation

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Buffalo sophomore Quate McKinzie is facing a litany of charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly attempted to strangle a female acquaintance.

McKinzie, who is 20 years old, was later handed more charges after he made threatening phone calls to his accuser from jail.
From the Buffalo News:

The original charges placed against the UB sophomore were second-degree strangulation, a D-felony; misdemeanor counts of criminal obstruction of breathing, assault, menacing, harassment; and stealing the victim’s vehicle.

The latest charges are third-degree witness intimidation and first-degree criminal contempt, both E-felonies; and two misdemeanors, aggravated harassment and disobeying a court mandate, according to Tonawanda Police Patrol Capt. Fredric Foels.

“University Athletics is aware of the alleged incident and is in communication with university and local authorities,” Buffalo released in a statement. “Quate McKinzie is currently enrolled at the University at Buffalo and is suspended indefinitely from the university’s basketball team. Due to the ongoing investigation and federal protections on student information, we will have no further comment on the matter at this time.”

McKinzie is a 6-foot-8, 195 pound forward that played in 17 games last season. He averaged 3.9 points and 4.3 boards.

Auburn’s Austin Wiley suffers stress fracture

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Auburn center Austin Wiley has a stress fracture in his left leg and will be out 4-6 weeks, the school announced Monday.

No surgery is required, but Wiley, who played with Team USA’s U19 team in Egypt earlier this month, will miss Auburn’s trip to Italy.

“You know how tough and committed a young man is when he plays through the pain of a stress fracture,” said Pearl. “He was receiving treatment while in Egypt, but had no way of knowing the extent of his injury. Doctors say it is in a good spot for healing, and he will be fine.”

Wiley averaged 8.8 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 18.1 minutes this past season. He started 21 of the Tigers’ 22 games after he enrolled in school midseason.

Virginia Tech loses key shooter to torn ACL

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Virginia Tech suffered a brutal blow earlier this month when Ty Outlaw went down with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Outlaw is one of the best shooters on Virginia Tech’s roster, banging home 48 percent of his three-balls last season, and he was expected to be a major part of the rotation following a season where he scored in double-figures in six of the last eight games, including four games of better than 16 points in that stretch.

This is a blow to Virginia Tech’s depth, but it is also a tough break for Outlaw, who transferred to Virginia Tech from a Junior College and had to sit out the 2015-16 season due to a heart issue. The redshirt senior will likely be eligible to receive a medical redshirt should he decide to apply for one.

Report: Miller brothers schedule Indiana-Arizona series

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The Miller family does not appear to be worried about sibling rivalry.

According to a report from FanRag Sports, Archie, the head coach at Indiana, and Sean, the head coach at Arizona, have agreed to a three-year deal to have the two programs face-off against each other. They’ll start in 2019-20, playing in Arizona, then face-off in Bloomington the following season before finally heading up to Madison Square Garden in 2021-22.

If you can get past the fact that we are now scheduling games for 2022 (!!!), this is actually going to be a pretty neat and unique thing. How often do two brothers end up coaching at the Division I level? The Drew brothers — Bryce at Vanderbilt and Scott at Baylor — are one pair, but they cancelled a series that would have seen the two programs square off last season. James and Joe Jones at Yale and Boston University are another pair. They were league rivals for eight yeas when Joe was the head coach at Columbia. When Sean Sutton was the head coach at Oklahoma State, his brother, Scott, beat them was the head coach at Oral Roberts.

So it’s not typical for this to happen, mainly because it’s not easy to compete at something so important against someone you care about so much.

Think about it.

Imagine working in a profession where your success comes at the expense of your brother? It’s one of the major reasons — beyond the obvious — that no one believed Sean Miller would actually consider taking the Ohio State job when it opened. Facing off against your brother in a non-conference game you choose to play is one thing. Competing for league titles against him for the foreseeable future is something totally different.

Which is a long way of saying that this should be an enticing matchup, however it plays out.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest Rivals.com national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)