Nov. 29, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA point guard Darren Collison expects his new backcourt teammate to live up to some high expectations.
Freshman guard Jrue Holiday showed why Collison has such confidence in him.
Holiday scored 20 points to lead No. 13 UCLA to an easy 89-54 victory over Florida International on Saturday night, making all eight of his field goal attempts in only 19 minutes of play.
"Jrue is Jrue," Collison said. "We expect that from Jrue from here on out. I'm not trying to put any pressure on him, but he's a good player and that's what good players do. We expected games like that from Kevin (Love) last year and we expect it from Jrue now."
Collison didn't have a bad night either, finishing with 11 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Michael Roll made all three of his 3-pointers and also scored 11 for UCLA (4-1).
The Bruins held a commanding 33-20 rebounding advantage, even though no UCLA player had more than four rebounds.
"I was pleased with our rebounding, especially in the first half," coach Ben Howland said. "We have to be rebounding by committee, there's no question."
UCLA shot better than 65 percent from the field and made nine 3-pointers as a team.
"We expect that from our team," Roll said. "The older guys are very good shooters and the freshmen can stroke it as well. When we hit like that, it's going to open things on the inside and open up driving lanes."
"I didn't realize I hadn't missed a shot tonight," Holiday said. "We had a great week of practice. Going to New York and playing in Madison Square Garden, I was a little nervous in my games out there. But I felt real comfortable on the court tonight."
UCLA controlled the game with a suffocating defense, forcing 17 turnovers. The Bruins led by as many as 43 in the second half, going on a 14-4 run after the break.
Florida International (3-4) struggled from the field, making just 15 of 43 shots, but did make 21 of 27 free throws. Nikola Gacesa scored a game-high 21 points, and Cedric Essola had 14 points and seven rebounds, making all 10 of his free throw attempts.
The Panthers led 4-2 after Harley Fuller scored his second basket of the game with 18:33 to go in the first half, but it was all Bruins after that.
Florida International failed to score another field goal until Tremayne Russell made a layup with 6:04 remaining in the half to cut UCLA's lead to 32-11. Russell eventually fouled out with more than 10 minutes left in the game.
Roll and Holiday made back-to-back 3-pointers to close the first half and give the Bruins a 46-13 halftime lead.