UCLA loses 80-63 to No. 8 Duke at MSG
NEW YORK (AP) -- UCLA is sitting right outside the Top 25, an impressive spot for a team run by a sophomore playing point guard for the first time.
"He's been terrific for us at the point," first-year UCLA coach Steve Alford said of 6-foot-9 Kyle Anderson. "He had a couple of turnovers he wished he had back, but again he almost had a triple-double. We knew right from the beginning we wanted him at the point."
Anderson had what has become for him a usual stat line in an 80-63 loss to No. 8 Duke on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. He had 15 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists - and six turnovers.
He entered the game averaging 13.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists. According to UCLA, that's the closest any Division I player is to averaging a triple-double.
"We just didn't go on our run in the second half. We didn't make a conscious effort to go on our run," said Anderson, who is from nearby Fairview, N.J. "We have to get better with that. They handled business on the defensive end and we didn't."
Duke freshman Jabari Parker had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in his own solid all-around performance. He has scored at least 20 points in nine of his 11 college games.
Parker hit a big 3 and had an impressive dunk during Duke's 16-4 run that broke open a tie game in the second half.
"I'm just going to do whatever it takes to win," he said. "I don't have to take 20 shots for us to win. I can as long as they're good shots. I'm just learning to play the proper role right now."
The Blue Devils (9-2) poked and prodded UCLA's 2-3 zone from the perimeter, making 11 3-pointers in a season-high 32 attempts from beyond the arc.
Rodney Hood and Quinn Cook both had 14 points for the Blue Devils. Cook had five assists and all eight of Duke's steals.
"We did a good job hitting Amile (Jefferson) in the middle of the zone and he became the toss-back guy," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "He got the ball right back to guys and they got rhythm shots."
David Wear led the Bruins (9-2) with 16 points.
Anderson was asked about the turnovers and Duke's second-half run.
"Quinn Cook did a good job of pressuring the ball. That 94 feet of pressure is tough," Anderson said. "They didn't let us execute our offense. Duke's signature is the pressure defense, That's what they want to do and we fell into it."
UCLA's zone kept the Bruins in the game. Wear, who went 4 for 4 from beyond the arc, made a 3 to tie it at 43 with 17:58 to play.
Duke suddenly began to connect from outside with consistency and Hood hit two 3s and Parker added another in a 16-4 run that put the Blue Devils up 61-49 with 11:33 to go.
The Bruins twice got within eight points, but they got no closer in front of the crowd of 15,410.
Alford won't get down about his team's second loss in three games. It was the loss to Missouri that led to the Bruins being tossed from the Top 25.
"I think we have a really high ceiling. We're talented but inexperienced," Alford said. "Are we ready for games like this and Missouri? I hope we are more ready two, three months from now. Games like this helps us."
UCLA, which entered the game averaging 85.1 points, was 8 of 22 from 3-point range. Justin Adams, the Bruins' leading scorer coming in with a 21.2 average, was held to 10 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
"I thought they did a really good job on him," Alford said. "This was the first time this season he's been held like that, containing him and keeping him off the free throw line."
The win was Duke's 23rd straight in the month of December and lifted Krzyzewski to an 8-1 record against UCLA.
The Blue Devils are 2-1 at Madison Square Garden this season having beaten Alabama and lost to Arizona in the NIT Season Tip-Off in November. Duke's other loss this season was to Kansas.