Saturday, December 15, 2012
Rapid Reaction: UCLA 95, Prairie View A&M 53
By Peter Yoon
LOS ANGELES -- The UCLA Bruins kicked off a six-game home stand with a dominating 95-53 victory over Prairie View A&M on Saturday night at Pauley Pavilion. It was UCLA's largest margin of victory since an 82-39 win over UC Davis last year. Here's a quick rundown of the game:
How it happened: The Bruins played their best man-to-man defense of the season, holding the Panthers to 34 percent shooting (22-of-64) from the field with nine blocked shots and nine steals. The 53 points for Prairie View were a season low for a UCLA opponent.
The Bruins never trailed as they took an early 7-2 lead, were up 26-11 midway through the first half and ended the half on an 8-0 run for a 46-23 lead.
Shabazz Muhammad scored a career-high 25 points, eclipsing the 21 he had Nov. 20 against Georgia. Kyle Anderson had a career-best 16 points and added 11 rebounds, Jordan Adams had nine points, David Wear had nine points and five rebounds and Norman Powell had nine points. Travis Wear had a career-high five blocked shots and Larry Drew II had eight assists.
Player of the game: Muhammad showed the type of dominant offensive game everyone expected when he came to UCLA after earning national high school player of the year honors last year. He was 8-of-13 from the field, including 3-of-6 on 3-pointers, and dished out four assists.
Stat of the game: UCLA outrebounded Prairie View, 40-30. The Panthers came in to the game No. 19 in the nation in rebounding at 42.2 per game, and had been outrebounding opponents by an average of 12 per game. Also, the Bruins shot 55.9 percent for the game, including 59.4 percent in the first half.
What it means: UCLA's man-to-man defense, a work in progress all season, took a step forward. The Bruins had played only one real game in two weeks and put in extra time working on the man-to-man. It seems to have paid off as the Bruins looked like a completely different defensive team than they had all season.
What's next: UCLA plays Long Beach State on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion.