UCLA has no trouble turning back OaklandDec 17, 2006 - 5:01 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Making history is hard to do at UCLA, but the Bruins are heading for their best start in 13 seasons.
Darren Collison scored 15 points and Arron Afflalo added 14 as top-ranked UCLA coasted to a 74-53 victory over Oakland.
The Bruins (9-0) are off to their best start since the 1993-94 squad opened the season with 14 straight wins.
"I'm glad we got that win behind us," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "They're a very strong team, all of their players are well-built. We saw when we didn't double the post, they gave us real problems, especially that (Shawn) Hopes kid. We were outboarded for the second game in a row and that concerns. If that continues, we're going to lose."
The Bruins were outrebounded, 38-33, despite 12 boards from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. It was only the third time this season UCLA was beaten on the glass.
"I thought Luc did a great job on the boards for us, especially in the second half," Howland said. "We didn't block out well. We can't continue to get beat on the boards like that. Our foul shooting is a concern, too. We can't keep shooting 55 percent like we did tonight. We will lose if we keep shooting that poorly."
One negative for the Bruins was getting outrebounded, 38-33, despite 12 boards from Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. It was only the third time this season UCLA was beaten on the glass.
I thought Luc (did a great job on the boards for us, especially in the second half," Howland said. "We didn't block out well. We can't continue to get beat on the boards like that. Our foul shooting is a concern, too. We can't keep shooting 55 percent like we did tonight. We will lose if we keep shooting that poorly."
The Golden Grizzlies, who are in the midst of a brutal three-game road swing, hung tough for 16 minutes and trailed, 21-19, on Derick Nelson's 3-pointer with 4:13 to play.
That was their high-water mark, as the Bruins scored the last 12 points of the half and tacked on the first six after the break to open a 39-19 advantage two minutes in.
Point guard Collison scored seven points in the run and the Bruins were never threatened thereafter.
"We can't keep having slow starts," Collison said. "We have to put more pressure on the ball and take control early."
Josh Shipp scored 13 points for UCLA, which shot 51 percent (29-of-57) from the field and 6-of-15 from 3-point range.
Afflalo attributed the uneven performance to final exams week.
"It makes it a little tougher. We had a long week and we were a little flat," Afflalo said. "We just have to do a better job. Part of the reason for the slow starts is because other teams come in here looking to knock off the No. 1 team.
"We have high expectations for ourselves, but these teams have us well scouted. It takes us a while to figure them out, then we make our adjustments."
Oakland (6-7), which lost at Arkansas on Thursday and travels to play No. 22 Marquette on Tuesday, was paced by Shawn Hopes with 15 points.
The Golden Grizzlies shot just 30 percent (17-of-56) and made just 4-of-21 from the arc in falling to 0-15 against ranked teams since becoming a Division I school in 1998.
"UCLA is a very good team, but I was disappointed that we didn't come closer," Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. "We were within two points late in the first half when they went on that run. I am proud of the way we battled. We kept cutting into their lead but couldn't sustain anything."
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
OAKLAND 19 34 53
UCLA (1) 33 41 74 FINAL
Dec 16 9:56 PM
- NCAA BB
UCLA (1) 33 HALFTIME
Dec 16 8:49 PM
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