- Peter Yoon, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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TAMPA, Fla. -- In a battle of NCAA basketball heavyweights, UCLA is on its way to a technical knockout, pulling out to a 42-24 halftime lead over Michigan State in an NCAA tournament opener at the St. Pete Times Forum in a Southeast Regional matchup.
Tyler Honeycutt has nine points, Reeves Nelson has eight and Malcolm Lee has seven, but the Bruins have been winning with defense.
Michigan State is 8-for-30 from the field (30.8 percent) and leading scorer Kalin Lucas, a former Big ten Player of the year, has no points on 0-for-7 shooting. Lee, a Pac-10 all-defensive team selection, has been doing most of the defensive work on Lucas.
UCLA is 20-0 in games this season in which it has held a double-digit lead at any point. The 18-point halftime lead is UCLA's second largest of the season. The biggest came in the season opener against Cal State Northridge when UCLA led, 46-24, at the half.
2dChantel Jennings and Kevin Gemmell