LOS ANGELES -- Reeves Nelson had 20 points and 11 rebounds, and UCLA took control with a 26-2 run over both halves to beat Pepperdine 79-69 in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off on Monday night.
The Bruins (2-0) advanced to play Pacific (2-0) on Tuesday night at Pauley Pavilion. The Tigers defeated Nevada 64-53. The winner of the West regional earns a trip to New York for the semifinals Nov. 24.Nevada (1-1) and Pepperdine (0-2) will play Tuesday.Tyler Honeycutt added 16 points, Joshua Smith and Lazeric Jones 13 each for the Bruins. Starting guard Malcolm Lee hurt his left ankle in the first half and didn't return.Keion Bell scored 24 points off the bench for Pepperdine. Mychel Thompson had all of his 11 points in the first half.After trailing by eight, the Bruins put together their big run to take a 52-36 lead.