UCLA holds a 40-30 halftime lead and didn’t look phased at all, silencing the McKale Center early. The difference was simple through the first 10 minutes: the Bruins made shots and grabbed rebounds; the Wildcats didn’t.
Arizona hardly looked like a top-10 team early on, failing to score its second field goal until 12:17 in the first half on a Grant Jerrett layup. UCLA forward Travis Wear responded 16 seconds later with a jumper, and UCLA went up 21-5 going into a media timeout. The Bruins were 10 of 15 from the field, while the Wildcats were 2 of 14.
Shabazz Muhammad inexplicably went to the bench after scoring 7 of UCLA’s first 15 points on 3-of-4 shooting. He spent the first few minutes of the game burning guard Nick Johnson, but drew much more attention from 6-foot-7 forward Solomon Hill after re-entering the game. Muhammad finished the half with a game-high 11 points, but expect Hill to hound him for the entire second half.
Travis Wear exited the game briefly with a sore shoulder after colliding with Arizona forward Brandon Ashley, but came back into the game without showing any lingering after-effects. He and his brother David combined to log 10 points and six rebounds for UCLA, while Ashley was the Wildcat’s first-half MVP with 7 points and six rebounds.
UCLA’s difference came on the fast break, outscoring Arizona 10-2 there. The Wildcats kept pace by winning the second-chance points battle 11-2.