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Shipp shoots UCLA to season sweep of Arizona

Feb 18, 2007 - 2:39 AM TUCSON, Arizona (Ticker) -- Josh Shipp and UCLA used some impressive shooting to continue Arizona's woes at home.

Shipp tied a career high with 24 points as the seventh-ranked Bruins posted an 81-66 Pac-10 Conference victory over the No. 24 Wildcats, sweeping the season series for the second straight year.

Darren Collison had 17 points and a career-high 15 assists and Arron Afflalo scored 15 for UCLA (22-3, 11-2 Pac-10), which shot 57 percent (16-of-28) in the second half to hand Arizona its fourth loss in its last five games here.

After having to sit out the loss at West Virginia on February 10 with a left shoulder injury, Collison scored 35 points and handed out 18 assists against three turnovers in the wins over Arizona State and Arizona this week.

"I don't think that there is a better point guard in America than Darren Collison," Wildcats coach Lute Olson said. "If you look at (his stats) today, he had 15 assists and two turnovers. He gets in the lane and he's one of the toughest guys in the league to keep out of the lane because he is so quick. Plus he defends like crazy."

Holding just a 35-34 lead at the break after the Wildcats closed the first half with a 7-0 run, the Bruins re-established their control in the second half behind Shipp, who scored seven points in the opening five minutes.

"I think we got a lesson taught to us (today), we'll see whether that pays off," Olson said. "You can't lose concentration on one possession. We started out (the game) and got ourselves in a hole, but we did a good job of battling back. Then we came out in the second half and they zapped us."

The sophomore swingman hit a 3-pointer after Arizona closed within 38-36, and later dunked. Shipp also had a slam with 15:07 remaining, giving UCLA a 47-40 advantage.

Shipp, who was coming off a season-low six points in a 67-61 win at Arizona State on Thursday, added another dunk less than 10 minutes later, capping a 12-6 spurt that extended the lead to 64-52 with 5:54 to play.

Shipp finished 10-of-14 from the field and Collison had five 3-pointers for the Bruins, who shot 53 percent (31-of-59), including 13-of-28 on 3-pointers, en route to winning for the fourth time of their last five conference road games.

A handful of those shots from UCLA came toward the end of the shot clock, discouraging an already shaky defensive Arizona squad.

"UCLA is very patient, and with the clock running down, they shoot the ball extremely well," Olson said. "I don't know how many times I thought that we defended well and they hit the long (shots) just before the buzzer."

"The shots they made (at the end of the shot clock) were a little deflating, but I'm proud of my guys," Wildcats forward Marcus Williams said.

Meanwhile, Arizona was held in check by UCLA's outstanding defense, finishing with less than 70 points for the first time in five games and just the fifth time this season.

"They played great defense," Williams said. "There weren't a lot of times where you caught the ball and had an open look."

Williams and Mustafa Shakur scored 17 points apiece for the Wildcats (17-9, 8-7), who have lost seven games in the Pac-10 for the third time in four years.

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    UCLA (7) 35 46 81
    ARIZONA (24) 34 32 66 FINAL

    Feb 17 3:06 PM
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