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No. 1 Gonzaga turns showdown with No. 2 UCLA into 83-63 rout

Freshman Chet Holmgren scores 15 points, pulls six rebounds and blocks four shots
Credit: AP
Gonzaga guard Rasir Bolton (45) celebrates a 3-point basket against UCLA during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/L.E. Baskow)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Andrew Nembhard scored 24 points, freshman Chet Holmgren showed off his unique skill set and top-ranked Gonzaga overwhelmed No. 2 UCLA 83-63 to win the Empire Classic. 

The Zags played like Vegas headliners, showing there’s a big gap between No. 1 and the current No. 2 with a dazzling display at both ends. Gonzaga shell shocked UCLA with a huge early blitz and never let up to beat its second top-5 team this season. 

Holmgren stole the show as a soloist at times, swatting shots, swooping for dunks and awing the crowd with his agility. Jaime Jaquez Jr. tried to keep the Bruins in it, finishing with 19 points, but had to work for everything he got.