Bruins Win Season Opener Against Prairie View A&M
Nov. 12, 2008
LOS ANGELES (AP)--Darren Collison scored 19 points, UCLA's five touted freshmen provided offensive punch and the fourth-ranked Bruins opened their season with an 82-58 victory over Prairie View on Wednesday night in the first round of the 2K Sports Classic.
Freshman Jrue Holiday joined the starting lineup of Final Four veterans Collison, Josh Shipp, Alfred Aboya and James Keefe and scored 11 points in his college debut.
His fellow freshmen displayed deft scoring, too. Malcolm Lee added 12 points, Drew Gordon six, J'mison Morgan four and Jerime Anderson three.
The Bruins (1-0) are coming off a 35-4 season in which they reached the Final Four for the third consecutive year. They lost Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to the NBA, although UCLA has three seniors (Collison, Shipp and Aboya) on its roster for the first time since 2005-06.
Prairie View (0-1) was led by 22 points from Darnell Hugee in his Division I debut. Michael Griffin added 13 points.
The Bruins will play Miami (Ohio) on Thursday night for a chance to advance to the semifinals at New York's Madison Square Garden. The RedHawks defeated Weber State 70-66.
UCLA closed the first half on a 31-11 run to take a 38-19 lead, helped by 3-pointers from Michael Roll, Shipp, Lee and Anderson. During the decisive spurt, the Bruins ran off 11 straight points.
At that point, UCLA coach Ben Howland had four freshmen on the court with Roll. The newcomers combined for 16 points in the half.
The Panthers were held to 23 percent shooting in the half.
UCLA opened the second half on a 14-7 run to go up 52-26. Collison hit his first field goal of the season and scored five more points, while Keefe had four points and Holiday hit a 3-pointer in the burst.
The Panthers trailed by 27 points midway through the half before rallying to get within 14 with 4:40 remaining.
But UCLA quickly built a bigger lead, with Lee sandwiching baskets around Collison's fastbreak score. One of Lee's baskets came when Collison fed the rookie for a one-handed jam.
Prairie View's 27 turnovers were just three more than UCLA, which dominated the boards 42-22 with Gordon getting eight rebounds.