UCLA Basketball Holds Off Penn, Wins 77-73
Dec. 10, 2011

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Lazeric Jones scored a team-high 21 points and UCLA survived a late scoring binge by Tyler Bernardini to beat Pennsylvania, 77-73, Saturday in the Bruins' first home game of the season at Honda Center.

Joshua Smith added 12 points and recorded six rebounds despite foul trouble for the Bruins (3-5). Travis Wear also had 12 points and twin brother David added 11.

"It was important for us to win a close game," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. "Our guys made key plays down the stretch. Jerime Anderson, in the first half, made some big shots to get us going."

Bernardini scored a career-high 29 points, including a career-best eight of his team's 12 3-pointers. Rob Belcore added 13 points, hitting a 3-pointer to end the game, for the Quakers (5-6), who were playing UCLA for the first time since 1987.

UCLA led by as many as 14 points, claiming a 60-46 cushion after a jump shot from Jones with 10:22 left in the second half. The Bruins were ahead by as many as 13 points (68-55) at the 5:52 mark after Norman Powell nailed a three-pointer.

Penn continued to chip away at the Bruins' lead. The Quakers trailed by just five points after Miles Cartwright hit a three-point basket with 3:44 left in regulation. UCLA followed with a lay-up from David Wear at 3:14 before Bernardini nailed his final three-pointer of the game at 2:58, pullling Penn to within four points (71-67).

From that point, the Bruins never trailed by fewer than four points. Leading by a 73-68 margin, Joshua Smith dunked to put the Bruins ahead by seven points with 1:55 to play.

"It was a good feeling to win," Howland said. "Penn is a very well-coached team. It was a good win for us and a step in the right direction. Our next game against Eastern Washington won't be any easier."

The Bruins led by 13 with 5:34 remaining before getting outscored 18-9 to end the game.

UCLA entered halftime with a 39-35 lead, having nailed six of 11 three-point shots before intermission.

The Bruins will play three additional "home" games at Honda Center while Pauley Pavilion undergoes a major renovation.

UCLA returns to action against Eastern Washington at the Los Angeles Sports Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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