Feb. 3, 2007
LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA coach Ben Howland likes to remind everyone there's no easy games in the Pac-10. For one day anyway, his team made a mockery of that thought.
"We want to come out and play as hard as we can every night, no matter who the opponent is," Howland said. "It shows a maturing level on our team."
The Bruins (20-2, 9-2 Pac-10) maintained a one-game lead over Southern California in the conference standings going into Wednesday's game between the crosstown rivals.
UCLA built a season-high 30-point lead in the first half, when it shot 70 percent from the floor, and held the Beavers to a season-low 18 points. The Bruins are 13-0 at Pauley Pavilion this season after winning their final four home games last season.
"We wanted to come out with the same intensity as we did against Oregon," said Darren Collison, referring to his team's two strong halves in a 69-57 victory Thursday. "If we want to get where we want to go, we got to have games like we did today."
Oregon State (9-15, 1-10) lost its sixth in a row and got swept by the Bruins for the second year in a row. Marcel Jones was the only player in double figures with 16.
"We were exposed in every possible way," Beavers coach Jay John said. "We all go through this outcome every once in a while. It is a risk you take when you come into Pauley."
The Beavers scored a season-worst 35 points - six fewer than their previous low against Hawaii on Nov. 19. They shot 31 percent from the floor, had 21 turnovers, got outrebounded 37-29 and had nine assists to 24 for UCLA.
"I love all the unselfishness," Howland said. "That's fun to see."
Oregon State was out of contention from the opening tip, when the Bruins opened with a 20-5 burst and kept on going.
"In early December, we watched a very good University of Michigan team come in here and not look very good," John said. "UCLA can do that to anybody they play. Tonight it was us."
Dragovic finished as UCLA's top reserve with eight points in a season-high 12 minutes.
"I was working hard and waiting for my chance," said Dragovic, a Serbia native who sheepishly admitted he was winded by game's end.
Freshman Mustafa Abdul-Hamid got into his second Pac-10 game of the season, hitting a 3-pointer that pushed UCLA's lead to 45 points. That began an exodus by fans eager to escape outside into a warm winter's day.
"You got to see guys have the opportunity to score," Collison said. "The players on the bench are the ones who get us better every day."
Collison had 10 assists before leaving early and giving Russell Westbrook a lengthy turn at running the offense. Westbrook scored eight of his 11 points during a 17-3 run that ended the first half.
"Everybody was getting involved, everybody was unselfish, so it felt good," Westbrook said.
"It's great to see them get rewarded like that," starter Josh Shipp said.
The Bruins scored 29 points off Oregon State's turnovers. By game's end, their shooting had cooled to 58 percent.
Hardly needing to talk strategy, the Bruins came out of their locker room four minutes early to start the second half. The Beavers emerged with 1 1/2 minutes remaining.