UCLA runs over Long Beach St. behind Shipp's career high

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A Hawaii hangover afflicted UCLA for the
first 20 minutes against Long Beach State. The cure was a
sharp-tongued halftime rebuke by coach Ben Howland.

Josh Shipp scored a career-high 24 points, Arron Afflalo added
20 and UCLA defeated the 49ers 88-58 Tuesday night in its first
game as the nation's No. 1 (No. 2 ESPN/USA Today) team since 1995.

"Whatever that means," Howland said about the ranking.
"You're always going to get the other team's best shot."

Fresh off winning the Maui Invitational last week and still
drained from traveling all day Friday, the Bruins found themselves
in a two-point game late in the first half of their first home game
in two weeks.

"We came out as if that team wasn't going to come after us,"
Afflalo said. "There's been a lot of hoopla about our ranking. At
halftime, we said we don't want to discuss that anymore."

But it wasn't long before the Bruins finished off the victory
and improved to 5-0 for the first time since the 1995 national
championship team started the same way.

Freshman Russell Westbrook added a career-high 11 points and
Darren Collison had 10 and a career-high nine of UCLA's 15 steals.

The Bruins hit 13 3-pointers, led by Shipp's career-high six and
Westbrook's 3-of-3 from long-range.

Sterling Byrd led Long Beach State (2-3) with 15 points and a
career-high 16 rebounds.

"They shot lights out," Byrd said. "They came out and busted

But not before the 49ers kept it close in the first half by
controlling the boards, 25-14, shooting 47 percent from the floor
and outscoring UCLA 20-8 in the paint.

UCLA led 41-36 at the break after blowing most of a 14-point
lead, built on the strength of eight 3-pointers, including four by
Shipp. After he hit back-to-back long-range baskets with five
minutes remaining, the 49ers outscored the Bruins 16-7 to end the

"I talked to them nicely and asked them to play harder," a
droll Howland said about his halftime rant.

It was the last serious challenge the 49ers would mount.

The Bruins opened the second half by scoring on their first
eight possessions in a 15-0 run that gave them a 56-35 lead and the
rout was on.

"They're extremely athletic, they're very efficient in what
they do, they're playing together and they look like they're ready
to roll," Long Beach State coach Larry Reynolds said.

Westbrook spelled Collison at point guard for a four-minute
stretch and promptly hit three consecutive 3-pointers from the same
spot in front of the Bruins' bench for a 67-45 lead.

"They ran a lot of double screens and they got some pretty big
guys running those screens for them," Reynolds said.

UCLA improved to 11-0 against Long Beach State, which shot 36
percent, lowest by an opponent this season.

UCLA has been No. 1 in 129 polls, a mark unequaled by any other
school. The coach responsible for much of that dominance and 10 of
the school's 11 national championships, 96-year-old John Wooden,
watched approvingly from his usual seat behind the Bruins' bench.

Long Beach State guard Kejuan Johnson, who averages 8.0 points
and 5.0 rebounds, didn't play because of a broken nose sustained in
practice Nov. 22. He is expected to be out at least four weeks.


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