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Thursday, February 14, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cal 76, UCLA 63

By Peter Yoon

The UCLA Bruins, prone to poor performances cropping up throughout this season, had another one Thursday in a 76-63 loss to the California Golden Bears at Berkeley.

How it happened: The Bruins (18-7, 8-4) started the game flat and got flatter as the first half wore on, then tried to make a run in the second half but had dug too deep a hole early. Bruins coach Ben Howland's team fell out of a short-lived tie for first place in the Pac-12 standings.

California (15-9, 7-5) opened a 47-22 halftime lead by shooting 58.8 percent in the first half and outrebounding the Bruins 24-13 before intermission. The Bruins began the second half with a 14-4 run and looked as if they might make a game out of it when Shabazz Muhammad made a pair of free throws to cut Cal’s lead to 67-53 with 7:08 to play.

The Bruins made only two of their next eight shots, however, and the Golden Bears held on. Forward David Kravish led the Golden Bears with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Richard Solomon had 17 points and eight rebounds, Allen Crabbe had 16 points and Justin Cobbs had 12 points and nine assists.

Jordan Adams led UCLA with 15 points, while Muhammad scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half and added a career-high 11 rebounds. Larry Drew II had 12 points.

Player of the game: Kravish set a career high with 18 points and dominated the glass against the Bruins. He had more points and rebounds that UCLA starting forwards Travis Wear (seven points, four rebounds) and Kyle Anderson (six points, seven rebounds) combined. He made eight of 11 shots.

Stat of the game: The Bruins shot 37.7 percent for the game -- the third-lowest shooting performance for UCLA this season. They have failed to shoot better than 40 percent in four of their past five games. Also, Cal outrebounded UCLA 41-33. The Bruins have been outrebounded 299-236 over the past seven games.

What it means: UCLA is a team that has the talent to win the Pac-12 title, but doesn’t appear to have the consistency to get the job done down the stretch. The Bruins simply can’t shake the penchant for playing extremely poor basketball for stretches at a time, and it seems like it’s only a matter of time before they lay another egg like they did in the first half Thursday, against the USC Trojans a couple of weeks ago and against Cal Poly in an early-season loss.

What’s next: UCLA heads to Palo Alto for a game at Stanford on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT. The game is on ESPN2. California will be home for a game against USC on Sunday at 7 p.m. PT.