March 9, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA's magic number was 32 -- as in its record-setting margin of victory over Oregon State and the Beavers' shooting percentage.
Ryan Hollins scored a season-high 17 points and the Bruins (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 13 AP) won 79-47 Thursday in the Pac-10 tournament quarterfinals.
"My teammates were doing a great job of getting me the ball," Hollins said. "I know I can help the team. I just try to do the little things."
Top-seeded UCLA (25-6) will play fourth-seeded Arizona (19-11) in Friday's semifinals.
"We were able to get through this game limiting the number of minutes for Jordan and Arron," Bruins coach Ben Howland said. "That's great because when you're playing three games in a row -- if we're fortunate enough to be able to win tomorrow -- you want to be able to stay fresh."
Marcel Jones scored 19 points and was Oregon State's only player in double figures.
UCLA's margin of victory bettered by one the old tournament mark Arizona set against Oregon State last year. The Beavers nearly broke the record for fewest points in a game, missing it by one.
"They played great `D' and hit shots," Chris Stephens said. "They didn't let us get into a rhythm offensively and that affected our defense."
The Bruins lost starter Cedric Bozeman with just under six minutes left in the first half after he went down in a heap under the basket. The fifth-year senior guard sprained his left ankle. X-rays were negative, but he was placed in a walking boot and his status for Friday was unknown.
"It's pretty sore, but the boot is taking a lot of pressure off," he said. "I lost my balance trying to avoid the cheerleaders. I should be fine."
Less than 18 hours after rallying for a 71-68 victory over Arizona State in Wednesday's first round, the ninth-seeded Beavers (13-18) were undermanned against UCLA.
They played without starter and leading scorer Sasa Cuic, who injured his ankle early against the Sun Devils. Also missing were Nick DeWitz (dislocated left shoulder) and Lamar Hurd (groin), whose injuries occurred earlier in the season. The trio had averaged 30.8 points and 12.1 rebounds.
"If we'd have had all our guys healthy, we wouldn't have been (down by) 32," Beavers coach Jay John said.
Three of Oregon State's starters didn't score in the first half, when UCLA led by as many as 18 points.
"UCLA did exactly what they've been doing -- defend with great focus and team energy," John said. "They continue to improve. There wasn't any complacency."
The Beavers scored the final seven points of the first half, capped by a 3-pointer at the buzzer from Jason Fontenet, to trail 38-27.
"We felt pretty confident we would stay in the game," Kyle Jeffers said. "It was just 11 points. Jason hitting that 3 was a little spark."
But the Beavers wouldn't get that close again.
The Bruins opened the second half on an 11-0 run, briefly interrupted by a basket from Jeffers. Afflalo resumed the offensive show, hitting a 3-pointer that keyed another six straight points.
By the time the Beavers scored again, they trailed 55-31.
"It shows when we put our mind to it and play focused basketball, we can be a tough team to beat," Bozeman said.
UCLA hit five 3-pointers in the half, with one by Michael Roll extending the lead to 69-40.
The huge lead gave Howland a chance to give his bench valuable playing time. Lorenzo Mata saw his first action since Jan. 12, when he broke his right leg in a collision with Farmar against Washington State. He had two points and two blocks.
"It was great," Bozeman said about Mata's appearance. "It was a morale booster for us."
Senior Michael Fey, whose poor play buried him on the bench this season, also came in to grab one rebound in the final minutes.
"They take a punch and keep on going with it," Howland said. "It's just a testament to their toughness and their character, and to the different guys on the team that get a chance to step up."
Last year, Oregon State upset the Bruins in the first round for its first tournament win since 1989.