Dec. 22, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Shabazz Muhammad scored 20 of his career-high 27 points in the second half to lead a dominant effort by UCLA's freshmen as the Bruins downed Fresno State, 91-78, for their fourth straight win Saturday night.
Fellow freshmen starters Jordan Adams added 25 points and Kyle Anderson had career-bests with 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Bruins (9-3), who improved to 7-0 all-time against the Bulldogs in the teams' first meeting since Dec. 27, 1990.
Larry Drew II had 10 assists and one turnover in 35 minutes, pushing his season totals to 102 assists and 19 turnovers (5.37 assist turnover ratio).
Saturday's game marked the first time that three UCLA freshmen scored 20 or more points in the same contest.
"Larry Drew II was phenomenal offensively in distributing the ball and taking care of the ball," head coach Ben Howland said. "Kyle Anderson's numbers were great. He was just three assists shy of a triple-double. He'll end up getting one soon. Jordan [Adams] and Shabazz [Muhammad] both had good games for us, especially in the second half when Shabazz really got it going."
Freshman Marvelle Harris scored a career-high 19 points and Tyler Johnson added 16 in Fresno State's fourth straight loss. The Bulldogs (5-7) are winless in three games against the Pac-12 this season, having lost at Washington State and to Colorado this month.
UCLA led 39-36 at halftime after having trailed for most of the first half. The Bruins led 7-2 with 15:04 to play in the opening half before Fresno State used a 23-9 scoring run to secure a 25-16 cushion at the 7:01 mark.
The Bruins reduced Fresno State's margin to just one point, 34-33, on a fast break layup by Jordan Adams with 2:01 to play before halftime. A jump shot from Kyle Anderson at the 1:31 mark tied the game, 36-36, and a free throw shot from Anderson just 17 seconds later gave UCLA a 37-36 cushion.
UCLA shot at a 58 percent clip for the game and outscored Fresno State in the second half, 52-42.
Adams finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, five steals, five assists and no turnovers. He reached the 20-point plateau for the seventh time in 12 games, pushing his season scoring average to 18.2 points per game.
Muhammad scored in double figures for the ninth time in as many games, eclipsing the 20-point mark for the fourth time his season. The freshman from Las Vegas has averaged 24.3 points in the Bruins' last three games.
UCLA returns to action against No. 12 Missouri (10-1) in the Bruins' final non-conference game of the regular season on Friday, Dec. 28. Game time in New Pauley Pavilion is 7 p.m. That contest will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Game Notes: For the second consecutive game, UCLA had two or more freshmen - Shabazz Muhammad, Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson - score more than 20 points (27, 25 and 20, respectively ... these are the first two times in UCLA men's basketball history that two freshmen have scored 20+ points in the same game, and the first time ever that three freshmen have scored 20+ in the same game ... the last time three UCLA players scored at least 20 points in one game was during an 83-72 victory against Washington on March 8, 2003, in Pauley Pavilion (Dijon Thompson had 26 points, Jason Kapono had 20 and Ray Young had 20) ... freshman Kyle Anderson had the third double-double of his career with 20 points and 17 rebounds ... Anderson also set a new career rebounding high (previous best was 12 against James Madison) ... Anderson's 17 rebounds are the most in one game by a Bruin since Reeves Nelson had 17 against St. John's on Feb. 5, 2011 ... Anderson' 17 rebounds are the most by a UCLA freshman in one game since Kevin Love grabbed 18 at Oregon on Jan. 24, 2008.