Kent State men’s basketball: UCLA pulls away for 97-80 win over Golden Flashes in NCAA Tournament first round

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SACRAMENTO, Calif.: UCLA raced out for layups, dropped in 3-pointers, piled up the points. The Bruins are the nation’s top-scoring team, so no surprise there.The defense? That still could use a little work.UCLA raced out to a big lead and held on through numerous defensive lapses, pulling away late for a 97-80 victory over scrappy Kent State on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament South Region.“We were obviously very efficient on offense and at times were efficient on defense, just had some lapses there,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said.UCLA (30-4) jumped out to a 14-point lead in the opening minutes, only to have its defensive issues rise up again. The third-seeded Bruins had numerous breakdowns and let Kent State claw back into it by halftime,...

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