ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Playing at home, UCLA struggled to beat
Albany and trailed winless Coppin State by five points at halftime,
making it appear the Bruins (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) might be overrated.
It sure didn't look that way Saturday.
Jordan Farmar scored 10 of his 24 points during a game-clinching
16-2 run, Arron Afflalo added 18 points and eight rebounds, and the
Bruins beat Nevada 67-56 in the nightcap of the 12th annual
John R. Wooden Classic.
"UCLA's the best team we've played so far," Nevada star Nick
Fazekas said. "They'll probably be the best team we'll see all
That statement might seem somewhat shocking to those involved
with the programs at Albany (2-5), which lost to UCLA 73-65 on Nov.
29, and Coppin State (0-7), beaten by the Bruins 69-57 last Sunday.
It wouldn't had they watched this game.
"That was an outstanding win for our team because we beat a
really good team," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "This is the same
team minus one or two kids who beat Texas in the (NCAA) tournament
"We won today because we did a great job defensively."
The Wolf Pack (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) shot 37.3 percent -- nearly 11 percent below their
Washington (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) topped New Mexico 81-71 in the opener of the
doubleheader named for the former UCLA coach who guided the Bruins
to 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year span before retiring in 1975.
The 95-year-old Wooden attended the games at the Anaheim Arena.
Darren Collison matched his career high with 10 points and Luc
Richard Mbah a Moute had eight points and nine rebounds for the
Bruins (7-1), who shot 52.2 percent.
Both are freshman, while Farmar and Afflalo are sophomores.
Center Ryan Wright, who played 33 minutes for the Bruins, also is a
Farmar shot 10-of-13 including 3-of-3 from 3-point range. He
didn't play against Albany on Nov. 29 because of a sprained right
ankle that's obviously feeling much better now.
"I would say I'm about 90 percent," he said. "It gets better
Nevada coach Mark Fox said Farmar took over the game at a
crucial time, "and that certainly was the difference."
"He's a terrific point guard," Fox said. "He shot the ball
much better than he has on the season, so he's obviously healthy."
Fazekas scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half and also
had seven rebounds to lead Nevada (6-1), which had won its previous
14 regular-season games away from the Lawlor Events Center in Reno.
"He's a great player. He'll be playing in the NBA whenever he
leaves college," Howland said of Fazekas, a 6-foot-11 junior.
Mo Charlo had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolf Pack, who
opened the season by winning six straight games for just the second
time in school history. The 1951-52 team won its first 14 games.
Fazekas scored nine points to spark a 14-6 run to begin the
second half, cutting UCLA's lead to 39-38.
But that was as close as the Wolf Pack would get.
A basket by Fazekas drew Nevada within one point again before
Farmar scored five points to trigger the game-clinching spurt,
which he capped by making a 3-pointer to give the Bruins a 62-47
lead with 3:57 remaining.
"I was just looking to be aggressive," Farmar said. "I had a
lot of daylight."
Afflalo (12), Collison (10) and Farmar (9) combined for all but
two of UCLA's points as the Bruins took a 33-24 halftime lead.
The Bruins were held scoreless for a span of nearly 6½ minutes,
but the Wolf Pack didn't take advantage, getting only five points
for an 8-4 lead.
Nevada led 14-11 before Farmar scored nine points to spark a
15-2 run that put the Bruins on top 26-16.
The Wolf Pack shot 7-of-21 in the first half while the Bruins
"We're like a MASH unit," said Howland, adding that Fey and
Mata should be able to return to practice in the next few days and
Shipp, who hasn't played this season, wasn't that far away.
"We have a student who helps out with the video -- he tore his
ACL the other day," Howland said. "That's how it's been."