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Shipp scores 22 as UCLA topples California

Feb 23, 2007 - 7:31 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- UCLA survived an early flurry before supplying its own knockout punch.

Josh Shipp scored 22 points and handed out six assists as the fourth-ranked Bruins came back from an early 10-point deficit to roll past California, 85-75, in a Pac-10 Conference contest.

Lorenzo Mata scored a career-high 14 points and Arron Afflalo added 13 for his conference-best 26th straight double-figure scoring game for UCLA, which shot 61 percent (33-of-54) and committed just nine turnovers.

"I was very pleased with this win," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "Cal played a solid first half. They were patient and gave us a lot of trouble. They shot 66 percent in the first half and had us down almost the entire first half."

The Golden Bears looked like they would compete for a third straight victory on the season and third straight here when they jumped to a 14-4 lead 5 1/2 minutes in. But the Bruins chipped away and closed the half on an 11-4 run to take a 35-34 lead at the break. Mata and Shipp each scored three points during the burst.

"They kind of jumped on us quick in the first half and we played most of that half trying to catch up," Afflalo said. "Once we caught them, we got our confidence back and got into a nice groove."

UCLA won despite allowing Cal to shoot 60 percent (26-of-43), being outshot from the arc, 8-2, and winning the battle of the boards by just 23-20.

"We know we're going to have to play better defense if we expect to win the tough games we have coming up," Afflalo said. "Cal shot way too high. We have to get back to our defensive basics. We have to rely on our defense to win tough games."

Mata, who entered shooting 30 percent from the free-throw line, was 8-of-9 from the charity stripe and made 3-of-4 shots from the floor. He added a three-point play during a 14-6 run that opened the second half.

A 12-2 run fueled by four points each from Shipp and Michael Roll provided UCLA a 61-45 edge with 11 1/2 minutes left and a 3-pointer by Afflalo, a dunk from Alfred Aboya and two free throws by Shipp increased the lead to 74-48 with 7:49 left. UCLA cruised thereafter.

"I think the entire team just stepped up in the second half," Howland said. "We got into a nice rhythm in the second half. Although Cal still shot a high percentage, I think a lot of those shots were late in the game after it had been decided."

Freshman Ryan Anderson scored 21 points for California.

"We just have to do a better job with the defense," Cal coach Ben Braun said. "UCLA got a lot of baskets in transition and if we could have cut those down, it would have been a different ballgame.

"UCLA has guys that can take it to the rim. When we play defense, we are a good team. Our game plan, not just for UCLA, is to play defense. We want to make sure we shrink the gaps and have help-side defense. We have to get better at doing that. We did a great job on their two big guys (Darren Collison and Afflalo) but their inside guys beat us."

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    CALIFORNIA 34 41 75
    UCLA (4) 35 50 85 FINAL

    Feb 23 12:28 AM
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    California vs. UCLAFeb 22 11:41 PM

    UCLA (4) 35 HALFTIME

    Feb 22 11:19 PM
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    California vs. UCLAFeb 22 11:19 PM