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Norman Powell scored 16 points for UCLA on Sunday (photo by Don Liebig)
UCLA Sweet Sixteen-Bound After 77-60 Victory Over Stephen F. Austin
By: UCLA Athletics

SAN DIEGO (AP) - UCLA is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time in six seasons.

The Bruins don't want to stop there.

"We've had a good overall season but our work isn't done," sophomore forward Kyle Anderson said Sunday after the Bruins beat Stephen F. Austin 77-60 reach the NCAA tournament regionals for the first time since 2008. "They don't hang Sweet 16s up in Pauley."

No, they don't. Expectations are always high in Westwood because of the 11 national championship banners hanging in Pauley Pavilion, the first 10 coming under John Wooden and the last one coming in 1995.

The fourth-seeded Bruins (28-8) will play Florida, the tournament's overall top seed, in the South Regional semifinals on Thursday in Memphis.

"It's a tough turn-around for us and we're going to play arguably the best basketball team in the country right now, but it's good to see us back in that mix and back in that discussion," said first-year coach Steve Alford, who has won as many NCAA tournament games in three days as the Bruins had in the previous five seasons combined. "That's what's been a lot of fun."

Florida beat UCLA in the national championship game in 2006 and again in the national semifinals the following season. The Gators also eliminated the Bruins in the second round in 2011.

Jordan Adams scored 19 points, Norman Powell had 16 and Anderson had 15 points and eight rebounds.

"It's a great feeling," Anderson said. "This is what guys come to UCLA for. A storied program, this is what you want here. We've beaten some good teams lately and now we've got the Florida Gators. This is what I know Jordan and myself came to UCLA for. We're going to have some fun with it."

The Bruins have won five straight and seven of eight overall, including an upset of Arizona, the No. 1 seed in the West, in the Pac-12 tournament championship game.

"It's a special thing and we're looking forward to next week," said Alford, who helped Indiana win the 1987 national title. "These two guys to my left have had an awful lot to do with it," he said, referring to Adams and Anderson. "Kyle and Jordan have been tremendous all year with their leadership and they brought and raised the bar for their teammates, and that's a special trait to have."

Stephen F. Austin (32-3), the No. 12 seed, was held to 35.1 percent shooting (20 of 57) and had its 29-game winning streak snapped. The Lumberjacks hadn't lost in exactly four months.

SFA coach Brad Underwood said the Bruins are "going to have a chance to advance a real long way."

Thomas Walkup had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Lumberjacks while Desmond Haymon had 17 points and Nikola Gajic added 10. Haymon's four-point play sent the Lumberjacks into overtime against fifth-seeded VCU on Friday night and SFA won 77-75.

The Lumberjacks hadn't lost since Nov. 23, a 66-58 defeat at East Tennessee State. After Wichita State lost to Kentucky to have its 35-game winning streak snapped, SFA's 29-game streak became the nation's longest, for about 3 hours.

"I'll say what I told the team - I couldn't be prouder," Underwood said. "We didn't have a great year. We had a year for the history books. ... A 29-game winning streak, they don't know how good that really is. That's very, very special."

The Lumberjacks head back to Nacogdoches, Texas, at least having earned the first NCAA tournament victory in school history. They are 1-2 overall in two tournament appearances.

The Lumberjacks stayed with the Bruins through much of the first half before the mismatch in talent and pedigree became obvious.

The Bruins, in the NCAA tournament for the 46th time, went on a 12-2 run in just less than 3 minutes, starting with a runner in the lane by Alford's son, Bryce. Alford also had a 3-pointer that helped UCLA take a 32-21 lead with 5:44 left.

Three-pointers by Deshaunt Walker and Haymon closed the gap to five points before the Bruins finished the half on a 10-5 run to lead 42-32. Tony Parker had two layups and Adams a 3-pointer to help keep the lead in double digits.

Powell, who played at San Diego's Lincoln High, opened the second half with two big plays, a slam dunk and then a coast-to-coast drive with a behind-the-back move followed by a layup for a 46-32 lead.

UCLA had 22 assists and only three turnovers.

"They annihilated us in transition," Underwood said. "It's not that they're just athletic, they're extremely skilled and very, very unselfish. And they're a very well-coached basketball team."

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Oct 30
vs. Cal State Los ...
Los Angeles, CA
W, 95 - 57
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Dec 06 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 12 - 7:00 PM PST
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
Tuesday, Dec 15 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 19 - 10:00 AM PST
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, Dec 22 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 01 - 8:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Jan 03 - 6:30 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Thursday, Jan 07 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 09 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 13 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 20 - 8:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Saturday, Jan 23 - 1:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Thursday, Jan 28 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 30 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 04 - 7:30 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA