LOS ANGELES (AP) Adem Bona had a career-high 28 points and nine rebounds, and UCLA routed St. Francis of Pennsylvania 75-44 on Monday night in the teams’ season opener.
Bona, the Pac-12 freshman of the year last season, had his rookie year end early because of a shoulder injury in March. Now he'll be counted on as UCLA experiences its biggest roster overhaul under coach Mick Cronin after losing veteran players.
Bona scored eight of the Bruins’ first 12 points of the second half as they stretched their lead to 44-27. He later picked up his third foul, along with 7-foot-3 freshman Aday Mara, who had two points in his college debut.
Gestin Liberis led the Red Flash with 12 points. They had 21 turnovers.
Bona and Kenneth Nwuba dominated the game's first five minutes. They had two dunks apiece and Bona blocked a layup attempt by Liberis. Bona later blocked Cam Gregory, sending him into a baseline seat.
The Red Flash tied the game four times in the first half and took their only lead, 14-13, on a free throw by Wisler Sanon II.
The Bruins closed the half on a 15-5 run to lead 32-22 at the break.
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