Thursday , Mar , 16 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Freshman sensation leads UCLA to easy first-round win

=== Freshman sensation leads UCLA to easy first-round win ===

San Diego, CA (Sports Network) – Luc Mbah a Moute scored a career-high 17
points and UCLA gave Belmont a rude welcome to the NCAA Tournament with an
easy 78-44 victory in an Oakland bracket first-round game at Cox Arena.

Mbah a Moute, the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, added nine rebounds to help the
second-seeded Bruins (28-6) cruise to their eighth straight win. UCLA will
face 10th-seeded Alabama, a 90-85 victor over Marquette earlier in the day, in
Saturday’s second round.

Belmont (20-11), the champions of the Atlantic Sun which was making its
first-ever appearance in the Big Dance, struggled mightily against UCLA’s
strong defense. Fifteenth-seeded Belmont shot just 29 percent from the field
and did not have a player finish in double-figure points. Justin Hare led the
team with eight points.

UCLA, in contrast, is in the tourney for the 40th time and won its 86th NCAA

The contest proved to be far less dramatic than events that took place earlier
at Cox Arena. A threat of suspicious activity caused the evacuation of the
building during the morning and delayed the start of the Marquette-Alabama
game for an hour and 10 minutes.

During a pre-game security check, two bomb-sniffing dogs were alarmed by a
vendor cart inside the stadium around three hours before the scheduled tip
of the first game. The building was immediately cleared before authorities
determined the arena to be completely safe.