Saturday , Jan , 20 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Pac-10 rivals meet at Pauley Pavilion

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – A key Pac-10 battle takes place in Los
Angeles this afternoon, as top-25 foes Arizona and UCLA battle it out in
Pauley Pavilion.

The 11th-ranked Wildcats are trying to salvage something from their trip
to the City of Angels, as they dropped their second straight game on
Thursday, falling at USC by a score of 80-73. The loss leaves Lute Olson’s
squad at 13-4 overall and just 4-3 in league play.

Ben Howland’s Bruins on the other hand, are sitting atop the conference
standings, tied with Oregon at 5-1. UCLA moved to 16-1 overall on Thursday
with a 10-point win over Arizona State (60-50) and stayed unbeaten at home
at 10-0.

UCLA holds a 41-31 edge in the all-time series, opening things up a bit by
winning each of the last three meetings, including a 71-59 decision in Los
Angeles on March 10, 2006.

The Wildcats could not contain USC’s Nick Young, who erupted for 22 of his 30
points in the second half, leading the hometown Trojans to the victory over
Arizona on Thursday. Arizona struggled with its shot from behind the arc in
the game, converting just 4-of-15 attempts, Despite winning the battle on the
boards (40-32), UA committed 17 costly turnovers. The loss spoiled solid
performances by several Wildcats, including Mustafa Shakur, who finished the
game with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Marcus Williams also
finished with 19 points and eight boards. Ivan Radenovic notched a double-
double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Chase Budinger chipped in 14
points and eight caroms. As was the case against USC, offense has not been a
problem for the Wildcats this year, with the team netting a healthy 84.9 ppg,
on .505 shooting. All five starters are averaging double digits, led by
Williams’ 18.5 ppg. Radenovic (16.1 ppg) and Budinger (15.5 ppg) complete the
Pac-10’s top frontcourt, while Shakur (14.6 ppg, team-high 129 assists) and
Jawann McClellan (11.9 ppg) provide backcourt balance.

UCLA certainly has the offensive talent to win games at that end of the floor,
but the team instead used stifling defense to knock off the Sun Devils a
couple of days ago. The Bruins beat Arizona State on the boards (32-22) and
forced ASU into 16 turnovers. In addition, UCLA really put the clamps on the
second half, holding the visitors to a mere 13 points after the break.
Offensively, UCLA struggled a bit, shooting .440 from the field and .280 from
long range, while turning the ball over 15 times. Darren Collison led the way
with 16 points and five assists. Backcourt partner Arron Afflalo added 13
points, while Josh Shipp chipped in with 12. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored
just two points, but made an impact on the glass, grabbing a game-high 14
rebounds, including seven at the offensive end. On the season, UCLA has had an
easier time of it offensively, scoring a healthy 75.1 ppg, on .490 shooting.
Afflalo is one of three Bruins currently averaging double digits, leading the
team with 16.0 ppg. Shipp and Collison follow with 14.5 and 13.3 ppg,
respectively. Mbah a Moute adds 9.1 ppg and leads the team with nearly eight
rebounds per outing (7.9).