Jan. 3, 2013
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kyle Anderson had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and UCLA won its sixth straight, defeating California 79-65 Thursday night in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
Shabazz Muhammad added 16 points and Travis Wear had 15 for the Bruins (11-3), who have won six in a row for the first time since the 2010-11 season when they had two such streaks and last made the NCAA tournament.
"This was a good and important win for us," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. "Cal executes so well, they never beat themselves. [Norman] Powell's defense on Allen Crabbe was critical in the first half. [Larry] Drew's entire defense against [Justin] Cobbs for the whole game was extremely critical."
UCLA never trailed in the second half, when its biggest lead was 16 points. But the Golden Bears (8-5) rallied behind Allen Crabbe to close within four points with 6:33 to play.
Crabbe, the Pac-12's leading scorer, had 16 of his 21 points in the second half. Justin Cobbs added 12 points and Richard Solomon had 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Bears have lost two in a row and five of their last seven.
UCLA snapped a three-game skid against Cal, having been swept last season. The Bruins had scored at least 89 points in their previous four games, but the offense came in fits and starts against the Bears.
"I think it all started with defense," Anderson said. "We got stops on the other end and it opened up the game. Our help defense has really improved. It really helps if all the guys collectively buy into playing team defense."
Cal rallied in the second half on runs of 6-0, 7-0 and 6-0 before Crabbe's layup drew the Bears to 61-57. From there, the Bruins ended the game on an 18-8 run while getting defensive stops on the other end. They made 11 of 14 free throws down the stretch, with Anderson hitting six.
Cal jumped out to a 6-0 lead when UCLA missed its first six shots and committed two turnovers to start the game.
The Bruins got back into it and took their first lead on a flurry of 3-pointers by Muhammad, Wear and Norman Powell. Cobbs' basket tied the game at 21-all before UCLA closed the half on a 17-7 run to lead 38-28. Powell scored five points and Wear had four in the spurt.
Game Notes: UCLA head coach Larry Drew II registered nine assists and zero turnovers - his fifth consecutive game with nine or more assists ... through five games on this homestand, Drew II has compiled an assist turnover ratio of 7.83 (47 assists, six turnovers) ... freshman Shabazz Muhammad scored 16 points and has scored in double figures in 11 games played this season ... UCLA held California without a three-point basket, the first time that the Bruins have accomplished that defensive feat since April 1, 2006, when UCLA held LSU without a three-pointer in the NCAA Final Four (California went 0-for-11 from 3-point range).