Jan. 17, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Freshman Shabazz Muhammad scored 21 points and classmate Kyle Anderson added 17 to lead No. 24 UCLA past Oregon State, 74-64, on Thursday night as the Bruins earned their 10th consecutive victory.
Travis Wear finished with 17 points, logging his sixth consecutive game scoring in double figures.
The Bruins led at halftime, 37-26, and pushed their margin to as many as 20 points early in the second half.
"That's not really a focus," Anderson said about the Bruins' winning streak. "We'll let that all fall into itself. We can only focus on what we want to control."
UCLA has equaled its longest winning streak since 2008-09. In addition, the Bruins have won 23 of the last 24 games played against Oregon State on their home court.
"We were really young coming into this season and it took time for these guys to adjust and for our team to understand what each other was about," Wear said. "We understand defensive rotations a lot better and it's showing in our stats."
UCLA has opened its conference schedule with a 5-0 mark for the first time since 2003-04, head coach Ben Howland's first season in Westwood.
"We're a much better team than we were my first year," he said.
That team promptly lost its next six in a row, then lost another six straight to end the season.
After Thursday night's game, Howland said he doesn't talk to his team about streaks - win or lose - while keeping their focus on the next game.
Roberto Nelson scored 17 points and Joe Burton added 12 for the Beavers (10-7, 0-4). They lost their fourth straight and fifth in their last six.
"The effort was good, but the execution is what has to get better," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "These guys got used to winning and now they have lost four in a row. And they're mad. That's good. I want them to be mad. I want them to be mad enough to play better."
The Beavers had the upper hand in the game's opening minutes before the Bruins took over for good. Ahead by 11 points at halftime, UCLA ran off 11 straight points early in the second half to take a 48-28 lead.
"We came out ready, but when you play a team that has this many good players, you can't let up or you get behind and it's hard to come back, especially when you are on the road," Robinson said.
Muhammad had a three-point play, Wear and Jordan Adams had baskets and Anderson scored four straight points during the run that put the Beavers in a double-digit deficit the rest of the game.
"I just let the game come to me," Muhammad said. "My teammates gave me an opportunity to score. I think I played fast on the road. I'm not sure if it was jitters. I just came out here relaxed."
Oregon State got to 58-48 during an 8-0 scoring run capped by Nelson's 3-pointer. But Muhammad answered with a 3-pointer to key a 7-0 spurt and extend UCLA's lead to 65-48.
The Beavers were held under their 75.7-point scoring average. They are one of two Pac-12 teams with five players averaging double figures, but only three players reached that mark in the game.
The Beavers opened the game on a 12-7 run while UCLA struggled with turnovers and missed shots.
"They kind of woke us up. I don't know that our guys understood that they were coming at us," Howland said. "Our defense in the first half was particularly good. That's been key for us."
The Bruins settled down and outscored the Beavers 20-7 to take a 27-19 lead. Muhammad and Norman Powell hit consecutive 3-pointers, while Travis Wear had six points in the spurt.
Anderson and Muhammad combined to score UCLA's final eight points of the first half, extending its lead to 37-26.
Former UCLA star Jamaal Wilkes had his No. 52 jersey retired at halftime, with former Bruins stars Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Mike Warren on hand. He helped lead the Bruins to NCAA championships in 1972 and 1973, and an 86-4 record in his three years under coach John Wooden. Wilkes had his jersey retired by the Los Angeles Lakers last month, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last year.