Men's Basketball Downs UC Riverside, 65-50

Dec 5, 2001

Box Score

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Another ugly game for No. 20 UCLA. This time, the Bruins managed a victory.

Jason Kapono scored 18 points and keyed a second-half rally that put away UC Riverside 65-50 Wednesday night.

"We were struggling. We didn't have that jell working tonight," Kapono said. "We can't say we're flying high right now. It was just good to get a win."

The Bruins (3-2) trailed by six points in the first half and couldn't shake the Highlanders (0-5) for the first six minutes of the second half.

Lloyd Cook had 14 points for the Highlanders, who trailed 38-37 before the Bruins put together their only major scoring burst of a sloppy game.

"Our game plan was to limit their shooters from having easy shots, especially Kapono," said Jason Perkins, who added 11 points. "But we broke down. It seemed like we didn't even guard them sometimes down the court."

UCLA ran off 16 consecutive points, including seven by Kapono, to take a 54-37 lead with 7:54 remaining. It was part of a 27-13 run that closed the game. The Bruins' points were a season low and 12 below their 77-point average.

"It wasn't a pretty effort," UCLA coach Steve Lavin said. "We're searching for combinations of lineups and defenses that will allow us to get stops."

Zadkiel Elder came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers and draw the Highlanders within 11 points with 5:11 remaining. They hit nine 3-pointers in the game, better than their 5.5 average.

Coming off last week's upset loss to Pepperdine that dropped them 10 spots in the rankings, the Bruins still looked as though they hadn't recovered.

With freshman point guard Cedric Bozeman out 4-to-6 six weeks recovering from knee surgery, Kapono moved over to play the point and the Bruins went with three guards in their lineup.

One of them was fifth-year senior Rico Hines, who hasn't scored in 100 minutes of action this season. But he hustled after loose balls and wasn't afraid to dive on the floor.

"I lost myself to the game. I've got to set an example of how to play hard," Hines said. "I'm still trying to find my niche. The scoring is going to come."

With no one to penetrate, the Bruins relied on 36 percent outside shooting. Their press forced 20 turnovers, which were nullified by UCLA's 18 miscues.

"They're struggling at the point guard spot," Riverside coach John Masi said. "Kapono has got to handle the ball and do something and Hines has to play wing, a position he's not used to. But I've got a lot of problems myself."

The Highlanders faced the same lack of inside presence, and settled for tossing up long-range shots, enough of which went in to keep it close.

Riverside was playing its fifth consecutive road game in its first official season in Division I, after going 8-17 against mostly Division I opponents last season.

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 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
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