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January 5, 2007UCLA (14-0, 3-0 Pac 10) overcame a tough first-half effort by Oregon State (8-7, 0-2 Pac 10) to stay undefeated to earn their first official road victory of the 2006-07 season. The Beavers are well coached team and gave it everything they had but in the end the Bruins had too much talent and played great defense to spearhead the win.
The Bruins came out ice cold and missed eight of their first 10 shots even though they had pretty good looks at the hoop. UCLA warmed up though as all five starters ended up in double figures.
Josh Shipp led all scorers with his game high 18 points. Arron Afflalo chipped in 14, while Darren Collison and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 11 each and Lorenzo Mata added 10.
The Beavers were able to keep it close in the first half with spirited play and a crisp running offense that allowed the Beavers to get easy looks buckets.
Oregon State had nine lay ups against the usually stingy Bruin defense in the first half and that was enough to keep the Beavers close as the score was 36-30 at intermission.
As has been the case with the Bruins this season when they need to they turn up the volume on defense and pretty much stifle opposition and that's what they did to the Beavers in the second half with their smothering defense.
The Bruins scored the first four points of the second half to get the get the lead to 10 points and never looked the back.
The Beavers tried to hang in there but the Bruins and their defense was too much for them to overcome.
The Bruins went on a 13-4 run to pretty much put the game away with seven minutes to play to make the score 56-40.
From that point on the two teams pretty much exchanged buckets and the game ended with a Bruin win 71-56.
As usual, Mbah a Moute led the Bruins in rebounds with nine and Collison led the team with six assists while adding two steals to the cause.
Mata had a superb game on both ends of the floor. As always, he was very active on defense accounting for five rebounds and three blocked shots.
Even better news for Mata was he hit two out of three free throws.
The Beavers received a solid game out of forward Sasa Cuic who tied for a team lead in scoring with 13 and the team in rebounds with seven and assists with five.
Marcel Jones also had 13 points and five rebounds in the losing cause.
One of the reasons that the Bruins were able to be successful putting the clamps on the Beavers was how they slowed down Josh Tarver holding him to six points. Tarver only hit on two of his 11 shots in 40 minutes of play.
Now the Bruins head to Eugene where a flock of angry Oregon Ducks await after being upset by USC 84-82.
Were the Ducks, who were undefeated going into the game, looking ahead to UCLA?
Only Saturday will answer that question.