Dec. 21, 2011
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Norman Powell scored a career-high 19 points to lead five players in double figures as UCLA defeated UC Irvine, 89-60, on Tuesday night at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.
Powell was one of UCLA's five players to score in double figures, making four of six shots from 3-point range.
The Bruins (6-5) led at halftime, 42-28, and pushed their margin to as many as 34 points late in the second half. UCLA finished with a 40-26 advantage in rebounds.
"I'm glad that we started to get things going," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. "We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but our defense started to improve and we started to execute better offensively."
UC Irvine was paced by Chris McNealy's 11 points. Daman Stirring totaled 10 points and five rebounds for the visiting Anteaters (2-9).
UCLA's Tyler Lamb scored a career-high 17 points, while Joshua Smith and David Wear each tallied 12. Lazeric Jones rounded out the Bruins' list of double-digit scorers, logging 11 points and six assists.
"Norman Powell had a really good game," Howland said. "He only had 12 rebounds in his first nine games and now he's had 17 in his last two. That shows good improvement. He is getting better and better. This is what we expected from him with more opportunities."
The Bruins, who have shot at a 33.3 percent clip from three-point range this season, made nine of 18 three-point shots (50.0 percent).
Trailing 12-10 with 11:34 left before the break, UCLA used an 11-1 scoring run over the next 2:32 to claim a 21-13 cushion. A three-pointer by Powell with 9:42 to play in the opening half put UCLA ahead, 19-13.
UCLA claimed its first double-digit lead of the game with 7:35 remaining before halftime, as a layup by Jones put the Bruins ahead, 25-15. After a steal by Lamb, Powell followed with his second three-point basket of the game at the 7:17 mark.
UCLA led by as many as 17 points in the first half, staking a 40-23 advantage after Lamb drained a three-pointer with 2:37 left before halftime.
"We played well as a team tonight," Lamb said. "UC Irvine focused so much on our frontcourt that we [our backcourt] were able to make our shots."
The Bruins return to action against Richmond (7-5) on Friday, Dec. 23. Game time at the Los Angeles Sports Arena is 7:30 p.m.