Dec. 19, 2008
LOS ANGELES -
DATE: Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008
SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
TIP-OFF: 7:36 p.m. PT
TELEVISION: FSN West
TALENT: Bill Macdonald (play-by-play) and Don MacLean (analyst)
RADIO: AM 1150
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Tracy Murray (analyst)
SERIES: First meeting
BRUIN INJURY REPORT
Junior guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid tore a ligament in his right wrist in practice earlier in the year and has missed the Bruins' last three games. He will also miss the next game against Mercer (Dec. 20).
SERIES vs. MERCER
This is the first meeting between UCLA and the Mercer Bears. Mercer, which is located in Macon, Ga., competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference and is 6-4 on the year with wins at Auburn and Alabama. While the Bruins have never faced Mercer, they have played other Atlantic Sun teams, and are 4-0 in those games (2-0 vs. Jacksonville and 1-0 vs. Belmont and East Tennessee State). The most recent of those games came during the 2006 NCAA Tournament when second-seeded UCLA defeated 15th-seeded Belmont 78-44 in the first round on March 16, 2006 in San Diego, Calif.
UCLA moved up two spots in both polls this week to No. 12 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 14 in the Associated Press poll, released on Dec. 15, 2008. UCLA has been ranked in the top 25 in the Associated Press poll for 62 straight weeks (since the 2005-06 preseason rankings).
HEAD COACH Ben Howland WINS NO. 300
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland earned his 300th victory of his career (14th season) with the 72-54 win over DePaul in the 15th Annual John R. Wooden Classic (Dec. 13, 2008). He is currently 300-146 (.673), which ranks 25th on the winningest active coaches list by percentage and 68th on the active list by victories. Howland's first career victory was his first game at Northern Arizona in 1994, a 71-69 victory over New Mexico Highlands. His 100th career victory came in his second season at Pittsburgh with the 77-65 win at home over Seton Hall (Jan. 13, 2001). His 200th win came in his third season at UCLA with the 56-37 home win over Delaware State (Nov. 19, 2005).
HOME SWEET HOME
UCLA sports an all-time record of 600-89 (.871) in Pauley Pavilion, which is in its 44th season as the home of the Bruins. UCLA has won 31 straight over unranked non-conference foes at home.
The UCLA Bruins posted their 33rd straight home win over an unranked nonconference foe with the 75-44 victory over Loyola Marymount (Dec. 17). The last unranked nonconference team to win in Pauley was Notre Dame (75-60) on Feb. 28, 2004.
In UCLA's 75-44 win over Loyola Marymount (Dec. 17), the Bruins held LMU to 25.0 percent (13-for-52) from the field and 5.9 percent (1-for-17) from the three-point line. The Bruins held LMU without a field goal from 16:50 to 2:09 of the second half, a stretch of 14:41.