No. 17 Bruins Outlast Bears, 81-66

Jan. 29, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Darren Collison scored 18 points and No. 17 UCLA beat California 81-66 on Thursday night to climb back into a first-place tie atop the Pac-10.

The Bruins (16-4, 6-2) had fallen out of first with last weekend's defeat at No. 23 Washington, but the Huskies lost 106-97 at Arizona on Thursday night to drop into a tie with UCLA.

Freshman Jrue Holiday added 13 points and Josh Shipp had 11 for the Bruins, who, like Cal, had lost two of three. UCLA coach Ben Howland improved to 13-4 against Cal, the most success he's had against any opponent in 15 years of coaching.

Alfred Aboya and Michael Roll added 10 points each for UCLA.

Theo Robertson scored 19 points to lead the Golden Bears (16-5, 5-3), who remained tied for second in the conference. Jerome Randle added 11 points.

Robertson, the nation's leading 3-point shooter, was 3-of-4 from long range and the Bears, who as a team lead the nation, hit 60 percent from beyond the arc.

UCLA blew open an eight-point game with a 20-7 run to start the second half. Shipp and Nikola Dragovic hit 3-pointers and Aboya had four points as the lead stretched to 51-30.

Cal missed on three straight possessions, then turned the ball over on a fourth while six UCLA players were scoring.

The Bruins had 16 steals - their most in a Pac-10 game this season - to feed their offense. They had 12 steals in the first half. UCLA shot 55 percent from the field and controlled the boards 34-23.

Collison had 12 points in the first half, when the Bruins effectively double-teamed the Bears to cause 16 of their 21 turnovers.

Cal closed within two points later in the first half on consecutive 3-pointers by Randle and D.J. Seeley, but the Bruins ran off eight consecutive points and the Bears never got that close the rest of the game.

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