This was a fairly comfortable win for the Bruins, who led by double digits for the vast majority of the second half. It’s worth noting that UCLA still has some trouble boxing out; despite Oregon State missing the nation’s sixth-leading rebounder in Eric Moreland (suspension), the visitors had 35 rebounds to UCLA’s 37.
The Bruins have won 10 straight for the first time since 2008-09, and five straight to open conference play for the first time since 2003-04, Howland’s first season.
– Travis Wear had a sixth straight double-digit scoring effort with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Two of his seven rebounds also came on offense, the first time he’s had multiple offensive boards since grabbing four against Missouri.
“Nobody in our team, in our family is surprised by how he’s playing. It’s not a surprise at all,” Howland said. “What’s really an advantage for him is he’s a four matched up with a five man trying to guard him. There’s no five man that can guard him out on the perimeter. He’s too good a shooter. He’s too skilled.”
– Shabazz bounced back easily from a mini-slump in the mountains, and spread his 21 points well across the entire game. “I think I just let the game come to me,” he said. “My teammates really gave me the chance to score and I just did the best I could to slow the game down. I think I played too fast on the road. I’m not sure if it was jitters. Just came out here, relaxed, and we all played well.”
– Oregon State guard Ahmad Starks is a chucker, so neither five points nor 22 percent shooting are season-worst marks. Giving up at least five inches in size to Larry Drew II probably didn’t help him out either as he ended a five-game double-digit scoring streak.
“Larry Drew II did a nice job on Starks, holding him to five points,” Howland said. “We got out on our hedges, helping our point guard get over the top.”
– Kyle Anderson, on whether or not the streak matters: “No, not really. That’s not really a focus. We’ll just let that all fall into itself. Right now, we only focus on what we want to control.”
– UCLA guard Norman Powell missed most of pregame warmups with a headache, but looked normal on the court with five points and three rebounds in 20 minutes.
– Jamaal Wilkes’ No. 52 jersey was retired Thursday night, and the aura of Pauley Pavilion apparently struck the visitors. From Oregon State freshman forward Olaf Shaftenaar, who scored a career high 10 points: “It was an honor and very special to be here in this arena, with so much tradition.”