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Ruoff, West Virginia hold on to shock No. 2 UCLA

Feb 11, 2007 - 8:18 AM MORGANTOWN, West Virginia (Ticker) -- Alex Rouff and West Virginia had every answer for the nation's second-ranked team.

Rouff scored 10 of his 18 points in the second half as the Mountaineers held on for their biggest regular-season victory in nearly 24 years, a 70-65 upset of No. 2 UCLA in a non-conference battle.

Frank Young scored 14 points and Da'Sean Butler added 13 for West Virginia (19-5), which beat its highest ranked opponent since shocking then-No. 1 UNLV, 87-78, here on February 27, 1983.

"There's been a few times when we've had a top-ranked team come in here and we almost got there," West Virginia coach John Beilein said. "Without question, (we) played with a chip on (our) shoulders today."

Finishing the first half on a 10-0 run, the Mountaineers held a 32-22 lead at the break. That advantage grew to 43-25 with 15:30 left on a fast-break layup by Young after a turnover by the Bruins.

Although UCLA came back with a 3-pointer by Arron Afflalo, Young had a layup and Ted Talkington hit a jumper after a steal by Rob Summers to give West Virginia its largest lead of the game at 47-28 with 14:15 left.

"To allow them to go up 19 points dug a big hole for us," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "You have to give (West Virginia) credit. They played very well."

The Bruins, who traveled here for the first time, also were in a hole as starting point guard Darren Collison did not play due to a left shoulder injury suffered in Wednesday's win over Southern California. The sophomore ranked third on the team with an average of 13.0 points and 5.7 assists.

"That's tough for a team to come here and play without their top point guard," Beilein said.

Despite the absence of Collison, UCLA (21-3) charged back, slicing the deficit to 47-43 with 9:22 to play on the strength of a 15-0 run. Josh Shipp had six points during the burst.

Although a 3-pointer by Rouff less than two minutes later built the lead back up to 52-43, the Bruins continued to chip away, closing within, 63-59, when Shipp was fouled on a layup with 1:45 left.

Shipp, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half, failed to complete the three-point play with a missed free throw and was off the mark on a runner with 52 seconds left, forcing UCLA to foul to stop the clock.

Joe Alexander made 3-of-4 free throws and Rouff added a pair over the final 45 seconds to seal the Mountaineers' second win over the Bruins in as many years and third in four all-time meetings.

"(West Virginia) beat us fair and square," Howland said. "You have to give them credit."

Ruoff finished 6-of-12 from the field with three 3-pointers and Young and Butler both had seven rebounds for West Virginia, which overcame a 44-33 deficit on the boards by finishing with 15 points off 15 turnovers by UCLA.

Afflalo scored 27 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Bruins.

Alfred Aboya had 11 points and nine rebounds and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute pulled down nine boards and handed out five assists for UCLA, which has absorbed all three of its losses on the road. This was the first against a non-conference opponent.