UCLA clamps down on UC DavisDec 30, 2007 - 3:39 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- UCLA tightened up its defense and pulled away from UC Davis.
Darren Collison scored 14 points to lead four players in double figures to lift the fifth-ranked Bruins to a 76-48 victory over the Aggies on Saturday.
Freshman Kevin Love added 13 points and nine rebounds to help UCLA to its fifth consecutive victory in its final non-conference game.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Josh Shipp scored 10 points apiece for UCLA, which will open Pac-10 play next week.
"We're never satisfied and always want to improve," Shipp said. "We still have room for improvement and this coming weekend (against Stanford and Cal) will be a good test for us."
While the Bruins (12-1) dominated the backboards, holding a 31-16 edge on the glass, it was their defense that broke the game open in the second half.
UCLA limited UC Davis (5-7) to just three field goals in the first 14:34 of the second half, holding the Aggies to 3-of-16 shooting in that span.
"UC Davis played tough tonight," Bruins coach Ben Howland said. "They spread us out defensively by running the Princeton-style offense. I was happy the way we responded, especially in the second half."
That was a marked difference from the first half, when UC Davis shot a blistering 67 percent (10-of-15) against UCLA's normally stout defense to trail, 37-24, at the break.
After the Aggies' Shane Hanson opened the second half with a 3-pointer, the Bruins scored nine straight points to boost the lead to 46-27 and were never challenged thereafter.
"We did a good job forcing turnovers without gambling tonight," Howland said. "I felt our man defense was aggressive and got them to do things they were uncomfortable with. Our guards are some of the most athletic in the country and did a great job pressuring defensively."
Collison, who missed the first six games of the season with a knee injury, hit a 3-pointer that triggered a 13-0 run and gave the Bruins a 19-6 lead midway through the first half.
"I'm real close to 100 percent and look forward to playing against Stanford without the knee brace," Collison said.
UC Davis refused to fold after falling behind by 25-10, its biggest deficit of the opening 20 minutes.
Ryan Silva and Hanson hit 3-pointers in the final four minutes to keep the Aggies within 13 points at the break.
Kyle Brucculeri and Hanson scored 11 points apiece to pace UC Davis.
- UC Davis hires Stanford's Kevin Blue as athletic director May 16
- Michigan-UCLA basketball to play home-and-home series May 13
- UCLA guard Bryce Alford recovering from hit to jaw Mar 6
- UCLA has deep, balanced team in Steve Alford's 3rd season Oct 28
- UCLA Preview Capsule Oct 28
- UCLA freshman Looney declares for NBA Draft Apr 6
- Gonzaga advances after pulling away from UCLA Mar 28
- UCLA and Gonzaga square off in South Region semifinals Mar 27
- UCLA beats UAB to reach Sweet 16 Mar 21
- Spot in Sweet 16 awaits winner of UAB vs. UCLA Mar 21
- Madness! UCLA beats SMU on goaltending call Mar 19
- Bruins battle Mustangs in South Regional affair Mar 19