for this game

UCLA smothers Michigan to remain unbeaten

Dec 23, 2006 - 11:42 PM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Josh Shipp and UCLA brought Michigan's quick start to a grinding halt.

Shipp scored 18 points to lead a balanced attack as the Bruins looked every bit like the top-ranked team in the country with a 92-55 victory over Michigan.

Arron Afflalo scored 17 points and Darren Collison added 15 and eight assists for UCLA (11-0), which used its pressure defense to turn an anticipated nationally televised contest into a mismatch.

"They are obviously an outstanding team," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. "They have exceptional athletes and are very quick. They certainly played better today than they have played all year. I was disappointed in the way we played, but I think UCLA had a lot to do with that."

"We were very good today," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "I think we would have beaten most teams in the country. It was a total team effort. We have some really good kids and they were playing for each other. It makes it a pleasure to coach a group like this."

The Wolverines came in 11-1, their best 12-game start since the 1992-93 season, which was marked by the "Fab Five" and culminated with a second straight appearance in the national championship game.

Ten of those wins had come at home, putting Michigan in somewhat uncharted territory. With a one-guard lineup, the Wolverines played right into the hands of the quicker Bruins, who took control with their defense.

"We were excited about Michigan," Shipp said. "People have been wanting to prove something against us and today we wanted to prove something to everyone else. We wanted to show what we can do."

"We did it mostly off forced turnovers," Howland said. "We had so many deflections that led to turnovers."

UCLA forced 15 turnovers in the first half, converting a handful of them into easy transition baskets that helped build a 36-23 lead at intermission. Afflalo scored 10 points, and the Wolverines also helped by missing all five of their 3-pointers.

"All of us were getting into their passing lanes," Afflalo said. "We take each possession personally. That's the way you have to play."

In the second half, the Bruins turned to their offense, scoring on 14 of their first 16 possessions to break open the game.

"We're a 40-minute team," Afflalo said. "Some teams have played well against us in the first half, but we usually find a way to pull away in the second half. You have to come at us for 40 minutes to beat us, because we are deep enough to go all out all game long."

"I thought we were lucky to be within 13 points at the half and thought we might be able to make a run at them," Amaker said. "But they jumped on us right away and things went in the opposite direction for us."

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 13 points and seven steals for UCLA, which shot a sizzling 59 percent (33-of-56) from the field and collected 12 steals as it improved to 10-3 all-time vs. Michigan.

"It was just being aggressive," Mbah a Moute said. "We came out that way and stayed on them. I got the steals, Josh got the dunks, we got the W."

Courtney Sims scored 13 points and Lester Abram added 11 for the Wolverines, who shot 46 percent (23-of-50) - including 1-of-10 from the arc - and committed 23 turnovers.

Michigan fell to 1-17 all-time vs. No. 1 teams.

"It just seemed like the bottom fell out, and again, UCLA had a lot to do with that," Amaker said. "We knew they were outstanding. They have unbelievable team speed and quickness. They are a quality team."

    --- --- -----
    MICHIGAN 23 32 55
    UCLA (1) 36 56 92 FINAL

    Dec 23 3:56 PM

    UCLA (1) 36 HALFTIME

    Dec 23 2:53 PM