No. 17 Bruins Outlast Bears, 81-66

Jan. 29, 2009

Box Score

LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA went to the basket and the free throw line, places it hadn't been in losing two of three games.

Playing with a "push, push, push" mentality, Darren Collison scored 18 points and the 17th-ranked Bruins beat California 81-66 on Thursday night to climb back into a first-place tie atop the Pac-10.

The Bruins (16-4, 6-2) had fallen out of first with last weekend's defeat at No. 23 Washington, but the Huskies lost 106-97 at Arizona on Thursday night to drop into a tie with UCLA.

"Darren Collison had one of his best performances this season," Bruins coach Ben Howland said. "He did an outstanding job stopping the ball in transition. He attacked the basket and we all did a good job in transition off of their turnovers. Our offense really started with a good defense."

Freshman Jrue Holiday added 13 points and Josh Shipp had 11 for the Bruins. Howland improved to 13-4 against Cal, the most success he's had against any opponent in 15 years of coaching.

"I definitely tried to get in there and create contact and get to the free throw line," Holiday said. "It was really on my mind."

The Bruins were 21-of-23 from the line for a season-best 91 percent, after making just 15 trips in the loss at Washington and 10 in a two-point win over Washington State.

Alfred Aboya and Michael Roll added 10 points each for UCLA.

"We got a lot easier baskets than we had in the last two games," Collison said. "We did a good job of moving. We're right there. We just got to do some other things well."

Theo Robertson scored all of his 19 points in the second half to lead the Golden Bears (16-5, 5-3), who remained tied for second in the conference despite losing three of four. Jerome Randle added 11 points.

Robertson, the nation's leading 3-point shooter, was 3-of-4 from long range and the Bears, who as a team lead the nation, hit 60 percent from beyond the arc.

"We never did anything well enough to win a game like this," Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. "They just physically dominated us. We allowed them to do it to us. That's no way to play UCLA."

The Bruins blew open an eight-point game with a 20-7 run to start the second half. Shipp and Nikola Dragovic hit 3-pointers and Aboya had four points as the lead stretched to 51-30.

Cal missed on three straight possessions, then turned the ball over on a fourth while six UCLA players were scoring.

The Bruins had 16 steals - their most in a Pac-10 game this season - to feed their offense. They had 12 steals in the first half. UCLA shot 55 percent from the field and controlled the boards 34-23.

"The guys realized how important this game was. We were coming off a loss," Shipp said. "We were all over the place, running for everything."

Collison had 12 points in the first half, when the Bruins effectively double-teamed the Bears to cause 16 of their 21 turnovers.

"We dug ourselves a huge hole in the first half," Robertson said. "We didn't come out and match their physicality. They got out in transition and they got some dunks. You can't give a team like that easy looks, especially at home."

Cal closed within two points later in the first half on consecutive 3-pointers by Randle and D.J. Seeley, but the Bruins ran off eight consecutive points and the Bears never got that close the rest of the game.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Oct 30
vs. Cal State Los ...
Los Angeles, CA
W, 95 - 57
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Dec 03 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Dec 06 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 12 - 7:00 PM PST
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
Tuesday, Dec 15 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 19 - 10:00 AM PST
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, Dec 22 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 01 - 8:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Jan 03 - 6:30 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Thursday, Jan 07 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 09 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 13 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 20 - 8:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Saturday, Jan 23 - 1:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Thursday, Jan 28 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 30 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 04 - 7:30 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA