UCLA Opens Season With Win Over Chicago State, 64-53

Nov. 20, 2004

Final Stats

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dijon Thompson scored 17 points and UCLA pulled away inthe second half to beat Chicago State 64-53 Saturday in both teams' seasonopener.

The Bruins, who ended last season with six straight losses and an 11-17record, didn't build a double-digit lead until about 14 minutes were left inthe game.

UCLA is 2-0 in openers under second-year coach Ben Howland. A year ago, RyanHollins made a free throw in the final seconds to help the Bruins hang on tobeat Vermont 68-67.

Tony Weeden led Chicago State with 17 points. Royce Parran added 17.

Chicago State led by three points late in the first half before Thompsonscored nine straight to give UCLA a 31-25 halftime lead.

The Cougars closed to 35-33 early in the second half, helped by six straightpoints from Weeden.

But the Bruins answered with a 10-0 run, including 3-pointers by freshmenArron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar, to go up 46-33 with 13:44 remaining.

Farmar and Afflalo started at the guard positions for UCLA, the third pairof newcomers to do so since 1980.

Farmar had 11 points, five assists and eight turnovers in 34 minutes runningthe offense in place of senior Cedric Bozeman, who tore a knee ligament andwill miss the entire season.

Afflalo played solid defense, holding Cougars center Deji Akindelescoreless, and had five points in 34 minutes. Michael Fey and Hollins, both7-footers, also started together, along with Thompson. Hollins added 11 points.Fey had six points and missed two dunks that had the crowd of 6,833 groaning.

The Cougars were outrebounded 41-21.

Chicago State fell to 3-17 in season openers, having lost their its 13 since1991. They were without Craig Franklin, last season's leading scorer who won'tplay until mid-December because of academic problems.

Chicago State, 12-20 last season, is 0-5 against Pac-10 schools sincejoining Division I in 1984.

UCLA freshman Lorenzo Mata missed the game after spraining his left ankle inpractice Friday. X-rays were negative and he is day-to-day.

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