UCLA storms back, beats ASU 71-53

By Jon Gold
Staff Writer

After coming out asleep in the first half of its four-point overtime loss to Cal last Sunday, the UCLA men’/s basketball team vowed to set the tone early against Arizona State on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.

Only the guitar was missing two strings, the strings that were left were made out of glass, and the whole thing was painfully out of tune.

The Bruins shot 1-for-10 to start the game as the Sun Devils got easy bucket after easy bucket, making 7-of-8 shots to take an 11-point lead.

But it was nothing to fret over, as the Bruins atoned for a brutal first 10 minutes with a brilliant run, closing the first half with a 30-8 run before going on to the 71-53 win, their 11th in 13 games.

“This doesn’t feel like an 18-point win,” UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. “I’m really happy we won by 18, but it just didn’t feel like it.”

For 10 minutes, UCLA wasn’t just out of sorts, it was bankrupt.

There might as well have been a brick wall in front of the UCLA rim, built by the Bruins themselves. The Bruins missed more gimmes than a down-on-his-luck golfer. UCLA started 6-of-20 shooting, easy layups looking like half-court heaves.

First the Bruins got frustrated, then they got irritated, then they got downright pissed.

When freshman center Joshua Smith threw down a haymaker dunk as the first-half was about to expire – receiving an emphatic chest-bump from teammate Reeves Nelson as the team walked off the court – the Bruins had made seven-of-eight and capitalized on Sun Devil turnover after Sun Devil turnover.

“Whenever Josh dunks – especially when he’s body to body with a guy – it’s going to get us all hyped up,” Nelson said. “I was glad he fought for position and executed the play. It was good to score into halftime. It gave us a good vibe going into the locker room.”

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UCLA wakes up, leads ASU 39-29 at half

After coming out asleep in the first half of its four-point overtime loss to Cal last Sunday, the UCLA mens basketball team vowed to set the tone early against Arizona State on Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion.

Only the guitar was missing two strings, the strings that were left were made out of glass, and the whole thing was painfully out of tune.

The Bruins shot 1-for-10 to start the game as the Sun Devils got easy bucket after easy bucket, making 7-of-8 shots to take an 11-point lead.

But it was nothing to fret over, as the Bruins atoned for a brutal first 10 minutes with a brilliant run, closing the first half with a 30-8 run to take a 39-29 halftime lead.

Before the game, head coach Ben Howland stressed the importance of the game after the dreadful performance at Cal.

“To me it’s not because it’s so important,” Howland said, when asked if he considered the matchup with the Sun Devils a ‘trap game.’ “We have to win this game. That’s the mentality we have to have. Every game in my heart is a must-win. It’s already as high as it should be as far as im concerned. Sense of urgency is always high. That’s what you have to be.”

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UCLA Baseball moved to 1 p.m. tomorrow

From UCLA:

LOS ANGELES – The UCLA baseball team’s game against San Jose State on Friday has been moved to a 1 p.m. start time, due to impending rain in the weather forecast. Friday’s contest had previously been scheduled for 6 p.m.

Fans are advised to continue checking uclabruins.com, as well as the UCLAAthletics Twitter page, for updates regarding game times and potential postponements on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ranked No. 2 by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball, the UCLA baseball team has opened its season with a 4-0 start. The Bruins swept San Francisco last weekend and blanked Pepperdine, 9-0, on Tuesday evening.

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Tuiasosopo coming to UCLA

The venerable Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times is reporting that former Washington quarterback and assistant strength coach Marques Tuiasosopo is headed to UCLA for an unspecified position: Check it out

Tuiasosopo played for head coach Rick Neuheisel while with the Huskies before an eight-year NFL career. Depending on his role, he should at least have a moderate impact on Brett Hundley, so this is good news for the Bruins.

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Updated UCLA Spring FB Schedule

From UCLA:

The UCLA football team has 18 starters returning on offense, defense and special teams plus three players who missed all of last year after starting throughout the 2009 season.
The Bruins will open Spring Practice on Thursday afternoon, March 31. All practice sessions are open to the public and will be held at Spaulding Field.

The annual Spring Scrimmage will be held on Saturday, April 23 at 5:00 pm at Drake Stadium. The event returns to campus this year due to the renovation project underway at the Rose Bowl.
Following is the schedule (tentative and subject to change):

Week One – March 31 (4:00 – 6:00 pm), April 1 (4:00 – 6:00 pm) and April 2 (TBD).
Week Two – April 4 (4:00 – 6:00 pm), April 5 (4:00 – 6:00 pm), April 7 (4:00 – 6:00 pm) and April 9 (TBD).
Week Three – April 11 (4:00 – 6:00 pm), April 12 (4:00 – 6:00 pm), April 14 (4:00 – 6:00 pm), April 15 (4:00 – 6:00 pm) and April 17 (TBD).
Week Four – April 19 (4:00 – 6:00 pm), April 21 (4:00 – 6:00 pm) and April 23 (5:00 pm Spring Scrimmage at Drake Stadium on UCLA campus).

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