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December 17, 2011
The Bruins evened up their record to 5-5 and for the first time this season have reached the .500 mark, after routing UC Davis 82-39. After a slow opening of the season, the Bruins have now won four out of their last five. UCLA is beginning to hit stride as they get closer to conference play.
"I was very happy with our game today," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. "We played extremely hard defensively, especially in the first 20 minutes.
"We held them to 19 percent shooting in the first half and the zone was good again today," Howland said. "We also did a better job on the boards with 50 total rebounds, especially Norman Powell, who got 10, and Joshua Smith, who had a double-double.
"Tyler Lamb had a great game for us also and added strong defense,". Stover's five blocks really energized us and we'll find a way to get him more minutes. Overall, I was pleased with our win and it gives us momentum with one week before conference play."
Smith led the Bruins in scoring with 18 points and 10 rebounds to notch the double-double.
"I tried to be aggressive today, especially when I saw the double teams were coming slowly," Smith said. "I felt great out there, much different than from the first game [of the season]. I played 21 minutes, but felt like I could have gone for 10 more.
"We are getting our chemistry back with the guys we have," Smith said. "Our practices are harder and we are executing plays better."
True freshman, Powell arguably had his best game as a Bruin, scoring eight points to go with his 10 boards.
"I felt more comfortable out there today and I tried to make myself more of a presence on defense and by grabbing rebounds," Powell said. "We are starting to get a feel for each other's games and finding each other on the court.
"With three guards on the court today, it gave us more options on the fast break and allowed us to play inside-out better."
David Wear had his best point total since the opening game with his 15 points and he added six rebounds.
Lazeric Jones had another fine effort scoring 12 points, added seven assists and didn't have a turnover.
Lamb keeps getting better and better. He probably had his best all-around game for the Bruins. He had nine points, nine rebounds and seven assists, while leading the Bruins in minutes played with 31.
Senior guard, Kenny Jones, had a career best six points to help the cause.
Howland, in his 9th season at UCLA, notched his 194th career victory as Bruins head coach, now second on the all-time UCLA wins list behind John Wooden (620 in 27 seasons), Howland passed Jim Harrick (192 wins) with UCLA's win over Eastern Washington earlier this week.
Rick Kimbrel is the publisher of BruinBlitz.com. You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on twitter at @BruinBlitzcom.