Rapid Reaction: San Diego St. 78, UCLA 69

December, 1, 2012
12/01/12
9:43
PM PT
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- No. 23 San Diego State defeated UCLA 78-69 on Saturday night in the Wooden Classic at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Bruins fell to 5-3 on the season. A quick breakdown:

How it happened: Jamaal Franklin scored nine of his 28 points in the final five minutes, including seven of eight free throws in the final 1:38 to seal the victory for the Aztecs.

The Aztecs seemed to be pulling away with a 69-58 lead and 3:52 to play, but UCLA would not go quietly, as the Bruins got to within five points at 69-64 with 2:03 to go when Shabazz Muhammad made two baskets and Jordan Adams made another.

An Adams 3-pointer with 59 seconds to go made it 73-67, but Franklin kept hitting his free throws and kept UCLA at arm's length.

The teams battled back and forth most of the game, and it was 56-53 with 9:12 to play when the Aztecs went on an 11-2 run to take control.

San Diego State used a streak of hot outside shooting late in the first half, draining three of four 3-pointers during a two-minute span, to open a 24-18 lead -- the biggest lead by either team in the first half.

Muhammad scored five consecutive points to get the Bruins back to within a point, but the Bruins could not reclaim the lead and trailed 31-29 at halftime.

Player of the game: Franklin lived up to his billing as one of the nation's premier guards. The 6-foot-5 junior made nine of 18 shots, and added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in addition to extending his streak of double-digit scoring to 27 consecutive games.

Stat of the game: San Diego State made only one of its first nine 3-point attempts as UCLA's zone defense proved effective, but the Aztecs then got hot and made 10 of their last 18 from long range.

What it means: UCLA is a work in progress. The Bruins looked good at times and Muhammad seemed to take a step forward in his adjustment to the Division I level, but the Bruins, playing three freshmen for major minutes, simply don't have the experience or leadership to pull through tough games against good teams. The Bruins have potential but still have a long way to go before they will be competing for anything big this season.

What's next: UCLA plays an exhibition game Tuesday against Cal State San Marcos at 7:30 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins travel to Houston for a game against Texas at Reliant Stadium next Saturday.

Peter Yoon

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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