for this game

UCLA battles past Miami, Ohio to set up trip to New York

Nov 14, 2008 - 7:50 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Darren Collison and fourth-ranked UCLA had to truly earn their trip to Madison Square Garden.

Collison scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half as the Bruins survived a tough challenge from Miami, Ohio, 64-59, on Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

Improving to 2-0, UCLA moves on to the semifinals in the preseason tournament, where it will face Michigan in New York City on November 20.

Despite the tight affair, UCLA coach Ben Howland felt this was the type of game that would give him an early indication of what type of team he has.

"This type of game, every possession is magnified," he told the Los Angeles Times. "Every little thing makes it tough."

Josh Shipp also had 16 points for the Bruins, who found themselves trailing 44-42 with 12:23 left to play.

Yet, UCLA went on a 7-0 burst, as Michael Roll hit a 3-pointer, Collison had a layup and Alfred Aboya converted two free throws for a 49-44 advantage with 10:06 remaining.

The Redhawks would not go away, even having two separate possessions where they had the opportunity to pull back ahead. Although it failed on both instances, Miami did close within 59-58 on a 3-pointer by Eric Pollitz with 54 seconds remaining.

One of the top point guards in the nation, Collison had no trouble getting into the lane on the other end before making two free throws with 21 seconds to play.

After the Redhawks came up short on another attempt from the arc, Shipp added two more free throws with five ticks left to cap the scoring.

Overall, the Bruins went 13-of-20 from the foul line, while the Redhawks were 12-of-14.

Roll finished with nine points and Aboya added six for UCLA, which won at home for the 30th consecutive time against a non-conference opponent.

Michael Bramos scored 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting for Miami (1-1).

Howland expected the Redhawks to give his team a tough challenge prior to the contest, warning the Bruins to be careful with the ball.

Despite the close score, UCLA had seven turnovers, down from the 24 it committed on Wednesday against Prairie View A&M. However, it only had five assists.

"Don't make a mistake about it, that is a very good team," Collison said to the Times. "As soon as you turn it over, they were going to capitalize on it."

Collison finished with three assists while not turning over the ball.