Jan. 10, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AP) -UCLA's backup point guard and its fifth-leading scorer came up big on a night when the fifth-ranked Bruins endured some bruises.
Russell Westbrook scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and UCLA shot 52 percent from the field to beat Washington 69-55 on Thursday night.
UCLA (15-1, 3-0 Pac-10) got 17 points from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in winning its eighth straight. He bruised his right knee during the game.
Westbrook took over for point guard Darren Collison, who left the game with 18:03 to play, clutching his left hip and grimacing.
Collison did not return and was diagnosed with a hip contusion. The junior guard had suffered from food poisoning earlier in the week that caused him to miss practice.
"We'll know more tomorrow because it is basically just a bruise," UCLA coach Ben Howland said.
Jon Brockman had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Huskies (9-6, 0-2), who lost to a ranked opponent for the fifth time this season. They shot 42 percent from the field in falling to 3-42 at Pauley Pavilion since it opened in 1965.
Brockman gave up 3 inches and 16 pounds to Kevin Love, the 6-foot-10, 271-pound UCLA freshman who finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. The two big men pushed and shoved in the paint in the first half, when they were almost even in scoring and rebounding.
"It was fun playing against him," Brockman said. "We had a little battle down there. He probably enjoyed it as much as I did."
"We jawed a little bit," he said. "He's a great player."
The game was tied four times in the first 10 minutes before UCLA broke it open with a 27-11 run that ended the half with the Bruins ahead 41-23. The spurt began with nine consecutive points, and Mbah a Moute scored seven in a row in one stretch.
Washington committed 11 of its 15 turnovers in the first half.
"It really cost us," coach Lorenzo Romar said. "It was because of their defensive pressure. It got to us. We didn't handle it very well."
Westbrook and Mbah a Moute shut down Ryan Appleby, who didn't score, taking just two shots from the field, including a 3-pointer. He averages 12 points.
The Bruins shot 52 percent in the half and made 12 of 13 free throws. In all, they were 19-of-21 from the line, with Mbah a Moute making all five of his, and Love and Collison both making their four.
Mbah a Moute scored UCLA's first six points of the second half, helping build the Bruins' largest lead of 22 points.
"It's huge for us," Love said about Mbah a Moute's scoring. "Any player on our team can have a game like that. He helped keep us up the whole game."
The Huskies then went on a 15-5 run, including seven points by Brockman, to get to 59-47 with 9:04 remaining.
"They're good, but I don't think they're the best UCLA team I've faced," junior Justin Dentmon said. "They let us back in the game."
But Westbrook ably ran the offense in Collison's absence, and had 13 points in the half, including a big dunk that kept UCLA ahead 67-51 with 4 1/2 minutes remaining.
"Darren keeps us under control and I try to do the same," he said.
Romar fell to 5-7 against UCLA, where he was an assistant on the 1995 national championship team.