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Shipp, UCLA claim another win at Wooden Classic

Dec 14, 2008 - 5:32 AM ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- UCLA's stellar offensive effort brought it another win at the Wooden Classic.

Josh Shipp and freshman Jrue Holiday scored 14 points apiece as No. 14 UCLA had few issues with DePaul en route to a 72-54 victory on Saturday in the event named after their legendary former coach.

Darren Collison had 10 points and five assists and Nikola Dragovic also scored 10 for the Bruins (6-2), who improved to 9-3 in the Wooden Classic, including 8-0 when participating as a ranked team.

The 98-year-old Wooden was in attendance for the contest, acknowledging the team when the game was in hand.

"Any time you are in Coach Wooden's presence, it's a special thing," said Shipp, who went 5-of-9 from the field and handed out three assists. "This Classic is really good for us to be in. He's the greatest coach ever and we just feel honored."

The win also secured coach Ben Howland his 300th career win. In his sixth season with the Bruins after stints with North Arizona and Pittsburgh, he improved to 300-146 overall.

"No. 1, I'm really glad we won," Howland said. "To come out of finals and have to play a talented team like DePaul, I was worried about this game. We did a good job getting stops. Our defense was very good in the first half in particular."

The milestone win proved guaranteed almost as soon as the game got under way as UCLA scored 11 of the game's first 15 points. It also had a 38-19 lead in the opening moments of the second half after going on an 11-0 run that bridged halftime.

Holiday had nine of his points in the opening 20 minutes and Shipp and Dragovic added six each as the Bruins shot 58 percent (15-of-26).

"I felt that I started attacking early," Holiday said. "I was just trying to cut through the zone to get in the middle and distribute the ball, as well as look for my shot."

The Blue Demons (4-4) got no closer than 13 points thereafter, with Jeremiah Kelly's 3-pointer cutting the deficit to 47-34 with 10:26 remaining.

Collison then hit a 3-pointer as UCLA went on a 9-1 run. Shipp scored the final four points on the burst.

Overall, the Bruins went 55 percent (32-of-58) from the field despite some poor shooting from long range, finishing 3-of-17 on 3-pointers.

Another area where UCLA made its break from the Big East squad was in the open court, finishing with a 16-2 advantage on the fast break.

Mac Koshwal scored 12 points and Dar Tucker 11 for DePaul, which lost its fourth straight.

Tucker, the Blue Demons' leading scorer at 20.3 points coming in, was held in check by the Bruins, going 3-of-13 from the field and 1-of-6 on 3-pointers.

Overall, DePaul went 38 percent (8-of-21) from the floor in the opening half to fall into its big hole.

"As I told our kids, they play defense as well as any team we'll play this season," DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said. "UCLA has a great program, great team and are very well coached. I think that was great opportunity for us to move forward as a young program and hopefully grow from this game."

    --- --- -----
    DEPAUL 19 35 54
    UCLA (14) 35 37 72 FINAL

    Dec 13 8:49 PM

    (14) UCLA 35 HALFTIME

    Dec 13 7:47 PM
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    DePaul 10, UCLA(14) 17  1st - 9:40Dec 13 7:33 PM
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    DePaul vs. UCLA(14)Dec 13 8:53 AM