Jan. 28, 2006
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - UCLA did Saturday what it has done all season: clamp down on the opposition's star players.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 14 points and eight rebounds to lead the 17th-ranked Bruins to a 63-54 victory over Oregon State.
The Beavers' two leading scorers, forward Nick DeWitz and guard Chris Stephens, were held to a total of eight points on 2-of-8 shooting.
"We've been pretty much like that all year. That's the key - make someone else beat us," said guard Jordan Farmar, who added 13 points and eight assists for the Bruins (17-4, 7-2 Pacific-10).
DeWitz, who finished with four points on 1-of-5 shooting, played 26 minutes but didn't start after missing a team meeting earlier Saturday.
Defense keyed UCLA throughout, as the Bruins held Oregon State to 35 percent shooting from the field. Seven 3-pointers helped the Beavers keep the game within reach until late.
"You've got to credit them for what they do to people," Oregon State coach Jay John said. "They run you down with their defense."
Sasa Cuic had a career-high 24 points and seven rebounds for Oregon State (10-10, 3-6).
UCLA guard Michael Roll scored the final five points of an 8-0 run as the Bruins broke open the game and led 54-38 with 7:27 remaining.
Oregon State answered, getting the home crowd into the game with a 10-1 stretch to close within 55-48.
But the Beavers were unable to build any further momentum, getting no closer than seven points the rest of the way.
UCLA dominated play near the basket with a 20-10 advantage on points in the paint in the first half and 34-16 for the game. The Bruins had a 39-31 edge in rebounds, including 13 offensive boards they turned into 16 second-chance points.
"It was another outstanding job defensively," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "In the second half, we did a much better job of getting to the line and getting fouled."
Added Farmar: "That's what Coach preaches, defense. That's the key to winning every game."
UCLA turned a 31-30 halftime lead into a 44-34 advantage. The run was keyed by dunks from Mbah a Moute and Ryan Hollins and a 3-pointer by Farmar.
John said Oregon State's second-half struggles on offense - brought on by UCLA's defense - led to frustration on the other end of the floor as well.
"We had a point when we cracked," John said. "When people start throwing dunks down, they've created a competitive edge."
Hollins, averaging just five points per game, had 11 and grabbed eight rebounds in 35 minutes. The center had five points and five rebounds before fouling out in 18 minutes against Oregon on Thursday night.
Howland was impressed with Hollins' extra effort, particularly in the second half, as the Oregon State big men wore down.
"Ryan Hollins is coming to the realization that this is it," Howland said. "All seniors seem to come to that realization about this point in the year."