UCLA rolls past MercerDec 21, 2008 - 6:18 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Darren Collison scored 20 points and Michael Roll added 16 as 12th-ranked UCLA downed Mercer, 76-59, in workmanlike fashion on Saturday.
The Bruins (8-2) led their Atlantic Sun foes 40-31 at the half and gradually pulled away behind Collison, who scored 13 points after intermission. Roll added 10 points after the break.
"Any time Michael Roll can shoot the ball like that it makes my job a lot easier," Collison said.
UCLA, which was without Josh Shipp due to an injured thumb, limited the Bears (6-5) to 28 points in the second half while scoring 36.
"Our perimeter players did a good job feeding us down low," said Alfred Aboya, who finished with 14 points. "And we finished it off."
Roll did most of his damage from beyond the arc, hitting 4-of-6 shots from long range. He came up a point shy of his career high of 17 while replacing Shipp in the starting lineup.
"I didn't want to rush anything," Roll said. "I wanted the flow to come to me."
Roll knows the Bruins need Shipp.
"Josh is a huge part of our team," Roll said. "I just wanted to help out with the scoring load (with him out)."
Roll felt it took a while for the Bruins to figure out the Bears, who were able to get some good looks early in the game.
"They hurt us on our double-teams," Roll said. "Once we figured that out, they stopped getting easy shots."
Still, the Bears shot 49 percent from the floor, hitting 23-of-47 shots. Calvin Henry led Mercer with 14 points.
Mercer's James Florence came in averaging nearly 17 points per game, but was limited to nine on 3-of-11 shooting. Much of that was due to strong defense by Collison.
"He is a great player," Collison said. "I really take it personally. I try my best, but it was a team effort."
UCLA enjoyed a 17-4 advantage on fast-break points and scored 26 points off Mercer turnovers compared to 13 by the visitors.
The Bruins host Wyoming and Louisiana Tech before starting Pac-10 Conference play on January 2 at Oregon State.
- NCAA BB
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
MERCER 31 28 59
UCLA (12) 40 36 76 FINAL
Dec 21 12:46 AM
- NCAA BB
(12) UCLA 40 HALFTIME
Dec 20 11:25 PM
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