Dec 14, 2002
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
LOS ANGELES - Dijon Thompson scored a career-high 23 points and UCLA defeated Portland 105-67 Saturday to get the Bruins to .500 after starting the season 0-2.
Portland (3-3) lost to a Pac-10 team for the third time, having been beaten by the Oregon schools in its two previous games.
The Bruins (2-2) needed just five minutes to build a double-digit lead they never relinquished against the overmatched Pilots, who have never beaten UCLA in three meetings.
It was a humbling return to Pauley Pavilion for Portland coach Michael Holton, who played in the 1980 NCAA title game for the Bruins and was an assistant for five years with UCLA coach Steve Lavin. Holton is in his second season after a 6-24 rookie year.
UCLA shot 59 percent and outrebounded Portland 33-8 in the first half.
Portland trailed by five points when the Bruins put the game away with a 29-7 run to take a 41-16 lead. Thompson had seven points in the spurt when Jason Kapono, Jon Crispin and Ryan Walcott each hit 3-pointers.
Freshman Donald Wilson scored 14 points for Portland before fouling out with 9:10 left. He returned from a one-game suspension for not following the team's academic rules.
The Pilots never rallied, allowing Lavin a rare chance to clear his bench.
Fans began filing out with 10 minutes left and the Bruins ahead by 40 points. They topped 100 points for the first time at home since beating Iona 105-73 in 1999.
The rout didn't come close to the record for biggest victory at Pauley, which was 65 points against Portland on Jan. 20, 1967, the last time the teams met.
Sophomore Andre Patterson made his season debut for the Bruins with 11:09 remaining in the game. He was declared academically ineligible before the start of fall quarter. After attending junior college, he made grades and was readmitted Friday.
Patterson drew cheers for a big block on Patrick Galos a minute later, but he heard the loudest applause for a dunk off a fastbreak feed from Janou Rubin.
It was also a homecoming for Portland assistant Matt Gordon, who was a student manager for UCLA's 1995 national championship team.