UCLA vs Gonzaga: Gameday reads

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For anyone looking for something to do between now and UCLA’s tipoff against Gonzaga at 4:15 p.m. PT (CBS), here’s a roundup of relevant reading:

– Isaac Hamilton started the season on a bumpy path, but has rediscovered his “old man’s game” late in the season.
– UCLA assistant coach Ed Schilling once shot poorly in a football stadium, but he doesn’t think the same will hold for the Bruins at NRG Stadium.
– From the Spokesman-Review: The first person to ever hire Steve Alford as a coach explains how it happened.
– From Grantland: How Kyle Wiltjer turned himself into a star by leaving Kentucky.
– From Y! Sports: An oral history of UCLA’s 2006 comeback against Gonzaga.
– And last but not least … Bill Walton’s recent aMa on Reddit.

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VIDEO: Isaac Hamilton talks about career-best performance vs. USC

UCLA coasted to a 96-70 win over USC in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals, as sophomore Isaac Hamilton scored a career-high 36 points — the most for any Bruin in a decade. Hamilton did this just four days after the death of his grandmother, Lucine.

“I said a little prayer,” he said. “I knew she was watching me above. I just came out and competed. I’m hoping she’s happy with the performance I had today.”

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Isaac Hamilton scores career-high 36 as UCLA blows out USC

LAS VEGAS >> That UCLA beat USC in the Pac-12 Tournament wasn’t much of a surprise.

That Isaac Hamilton was the Bruins’ best offensive player? Well, this was new.

The sophomore guard scored a career-high 36 points in a 96-70 decision over the Trojans on Thursday, one that punched a ticket to the Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal against No. 1-seed Arizona.

It was an astounding performance, particularly for a player who entered the MGM Grand Garden arena averaging 10.1 points per game. Hamilton had only topped 20 points once in his career. In four of his last eight games, he hadn’t even scored in double digits. Continue reading

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UCLA freshman Kevon Looney sustains facial injury against USC

UCLA’s Kevon Looney suffered a facial injury against USC in the first half, and his return to the game is questionable.

The freshman forward entered the game averaging 12.3 points and 9.5 rebounds for the Bruins, and appeared to have a slight cut under his left eye. He had five points, four rebounds and two steals in 10 minutes before sitting out.

UCLA has a 47-29 halftime lead over the Trojans, keyed largely by a strong performance by Isaac Hamilton. The sophomore guard scored 18 points in the first period, just three shy of his career high.

UPDATE: Looney was been ruled out for the second half against USC, and eventually left the arena for a CT scan.

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