Thursday , Mar , 08 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Top-seed UCLA defends Pac-10 crown against California

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – In a rematch of last year’s title game, the
top-seeded and fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins meet the eighth-seeded California
Golden Bears in the 2007 Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinal round this evening.

With a 15-3 finish to the regular season, the Bruins won their second
straight Pac-10 crown and claimed the top seed for this event. UCLA sports
a 10-7 all-time mark in the Pac-10 Tournament and it won both its titles as
the top seed (1987 and 2006). Last season, the team won three games in this
event by an average of 21.1 ppg and it is more than capable of duplicating
that performance this time around.

As for the Bears, they put an end to a four-game slide with a 70-51 triumph
over ninth-seeded Oregon State in the opening round of this tourney on
Wednesday. The win improved Cal to 7-9 all-time in this event, as it is
still in search of its first Pac-10 Tournament title.

As for the all-time series, UCLA owns a 126-93 lead over Cal and it has won
the last four meetings.

The Bears used a 34-2 run in the first half to pull away from Oregon State in
a 19-point victory on Wednesday. Cal did most of its damage from behind the
arc, where it went 12-of-29. Ryan Anderson recorded a double-double with a
career-high 27 points and 15 rebounds, while Ayinde Ubaka and Omar Wilkes
chipped in with 10 points apiece. On the season, Anderson leads Cal in scoring
(16.3 ppg) as well as rebounding (8.0 rpg) and he is also shooting 39.2
percent from long distance. Ubaka adds 13.5 ppg and a team-high 4.4 apg to the
mix, while Wilkes chips in with 10.1 ppg. As a team, the Bears are turning in
69.5 ppg behind 44.4 percent shooting from the field and 77.2 percent at the
foul line.

The Bruins have fared well at both ends of the court this season, as they are
averaging a solid 72.6 ppg on 48.6 percent shooting from the field, while
holding their opponents to a mere 60.1 ppg and 43.1 percent shooting overall.
Arron Afflalo, the Pac-10 Player of the Year, leads the team in scoring with
17.2 ppg and he is making good on 38.9 percent of his shots from long range.
Darren Collison joins Afflalo as an All-Pac-10 selection, as he leads UCLA in
assists (6.0 apg) and steals (65) to go along with 12.4 ppg. Josh Shipp adds
13.3 ppg to this balanced attack, while Luc Richard Mbah a Moute rips down a
team-high 7.7 rpg.