Saturday , Feb , 03 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Slumping Beavers come calling on surging Bruins

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – The Oregon State Beavers hope to snap a
five-game losing skid today, but they are heavy underdogs in this Pac-10
matchup with the fifth-ranked UCLA Bruins on the road.

On Thursday, Oregon State dropped a 73-56 decision to USC to fall to 9-14
overall and 1-9 in league play. The last four losses have come by double
figures for the Beavers, and they have been held to fewer than 60 points in
three of those tilts.

UCLA made a major statement on Thursday with a 69-57 victory over an
outstanding Oregon team that is not accustomed to being held in check
offensively. The Bruins have won five of their last six games to improve to
8-2 in league play, and they are a perfect 12-0 on their home floor this

UCLA owns a commanding 79-34 lead in the all-time series with Oregon State,
including a 71-56 victory over the Beavers last month.

There are two double-digit scorer in the lineup for Oregon State, which is
averaging a modest 65.9 ppg this season on 42.8 percent shooting from the
floor. Marcel Jones is the top option at the offensive end, as he is netting
15.9 ppg. As for Sasa Cuic, he checks in with 12.9 ppg, but he managed only six
points in the loss to USC on Thursday. Jones was even less productive, as he
shot 1-of-8 from the field en route to four points. Kyle Jeffers came through
with 15 points and eight rebounds for Oregon State, but he represented the lone
bright spot. The Beavers put forth a miserable 5-of-16 effort from the foul
line, and the finished with an embarrassing total of 11 turnovers. Poor defense
also contributed to the loss.

Aaron Afflalo has led UCLA in scoring in four straight outings, scoring at
least 22 points in three of those contests. The talented swingman is averaging
17.0 ppg this season, including 18.2 ppg versus conference opponents. Josh
Shipp checks in with 13.7 ppg, and Darren Collison adds 13.0 ppg, 119 assists
and 49 steals. The Bruins are holding Pac-10 opponents to 61.1 ppg, as defense
is undoubtedly the key to the success. On Thursday, UCLA limited Oregon to 36.8
percent shooting from the floor, and the normally explosive Ducks finished with
a total of seven assists. The Bruins connected on 57.1 percent of their field
goal attempts, including 8-of-14 from behind the arc, and those impressive
numbers overshadowed a 5-of-12 showing from the foul line. Afflalo led four
double-digit scorers with 17 points.