Home For The Holidays, UCLA Hosts Wyoming on Dec. 23

Dec. 22, 2008


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DATE: Saturday, Dec. 23, 2008
SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
TIP-OFF: 7:36 p.m. PT
TALENT: Bill Macdonald (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst) and Chris McGee (sideline)
RADIO: AM 1150
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play) and Tracy Murray (analyst)
SERIES: UCLA leads 5-1

Junior guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid tore a ligament in his right wrist in practice earlier in the year and has missed the Bruins' last four games. He is scheduled for surgery on Dec. 23 to repair the damage. Josh Shipp sprained his ulnar collateral ligament of the left thumb in practice (Dec. 19) and missed the Bruins' last game against Mercer (Dec. 20). He is doubtful for the Wyoming contest (Dec. 23).

This is the seventh meeting between UCLA and the Wyoming Cowboys with the Bruins leading the series 5-1. Wyoming, which is off to a 9-1 start, won the last meeting 78-68, upsetting Walt Hazzard's 15th-ranked Bruins in the second round of the 1987 NCAA Tournament (March 14) in Salt Lake City. The Bruins are 2-0 all-time against Wyoming in Pauley Pavilion with the last meeting coming during the 1973-74 season, a contest won by UCLA 86-58.

UCLA moved up two spots this week to No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and one spot to No. 13 in the Associated Press poll, released on Dec. 22, 2008. UCLA has been ranked in the top 25 in the Associated Press poll for 63 straight weeks (since the 2005-06 preseason rankings).

HEAD COACH Ben Howland WINS NO. 300
UCLA Head Coach Ben Howland earned his 300th victory of his career (14th season) with the 72-54 win over DePaul in the 15th Annual John R. Wooden Classic (Dec. 13, 2008). He is currently 302-146 (.674), which ranks 25th on the winningest active coaches list by percentage and 68th on the active list by victories. Howland's first career victory was his first game at Northern Arizona in 1994, a 71-69 victory over New Mexico Highlands. His 100th career victory came in his second season at Pittsburgh with the 77-65 win at home over Seton Hall (Jan. 13, 2001). His 200th win came in his third season at UCLA with the 56-37 home win over Delaware State (Nov. 19, 2005).

UCLA sports an all-time record of 601-89 (.871) in Pauley Pavilion, which is in its 44th season as the home of the Bruins. UCLA has won 34 straight over unranked non-conference foes at home.

The UCLA Bruins posted their 34th straight home win over an unranked nonconference foe with the 76-59 victory over Mercer (Dec. 20). The last unranked nonconference team to win in Pauley was Notre Dame (75-60) on Feb. 28, 2004.

UCLA is third in the Pac-10 and ranks 20th nationally in rebounding margin at +8.0 rebounds per game and is doing so without a single player ranking in the top 15 in the Pac-10. To date, eight different Bruins have led UCLA or tied for the lead in rebounding in the 10 games.

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