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February 3, 2008
LOS ANGELES(AP) Kevin Love's freshman season is speeding along, with half the Pac-10 schedule remaining. He'll always remember the just completed four-game stretch.
Love had 26 points and 11 rebounds for his 13th double-double and No. 5 UCLA routed Arizona 82-60 on Saturday night for its 20th victory of the season.
"Everybody saw this game today, so they know how good we are," Love said about the ESPN telecast.
The Bruins (20-2, 8-1 Pac-10) built a 20-point halftime lead and cruised on 57 percent field goal shooting. Russell Westbrook added a career-high 21 points, Josh Shipp 13 and Darren Collison 12 points, seven assists and one turnover as the Bruins won their fourth in a row.
It was UCLA's biggest margin of victory in the series since March 10, 1983, when the Bruins won 111-58 at home.
"I was a little shocked because they were really hot," Love said about the final margin.
Jerryd Bayless scored 13 points for Arizona (15-7, 5-4), which had its four-game winning streak snapped and lost its sixth in a row to UCLA - the longest streak by either team in the series since the Bruins won 11 straight between 1979-84.
"We were never in it," interim Arizona coach Kevin O'Neill said. "I was disappointed we had no fight; they went after us from the beginning to the end."
Bayless was held under his 19.3-point average, third-best in the league. Chase Budinger, the league's sixth-highest scorer at 18.2 points, had nine. He committed an intentional foul in the second half.
"We came out easing into it and got our (expletive) whupped," Bayless said. "We just weren't ready to play. It was a big surprise for all of us."
Collison set a school record for consecutive free throws in Pac-10 games with 32 before missing his first foul shot of the second half.
Love has dominated during UCLA's winning streak, when the Bruins have averaged 83 points. They completed a sweep of the Arizona schools, having shot 61 percent in a similar 84-51 thrashing of Arizona State on Thursday.
Saturday was Love's sixth consecutive double-double. He had 20 points and 10 rebounds Thursday. In a hostile road trip to his home state, Love had 26 points and 18 rebounds against Oregon and 16 points and 21 rebounds against Oregon State.
"He doesn't play like a freshman, does he?" UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "He is such a special player and is so hard to handle in the paint. The whole team did a good job feeding him the ball. He got a lot of second shots."
Both teams came in averaging about 75 points, but Arizona never came close. The Wildcats were 24-of-50 from the floor and 2-of-9 from 3-point range for the game.
"We played soft and timid," O'Neill said. "This is not the thing to do when you play here."
UCLA went to its bench with about 4 minutes remaining, allowing the Wildcats to score the final nine points.
The backcourt duo of Westbrook and Collison helped derail the Wildcats' offense with their defensive pressure. Arizona came in as the Pac-10's top shooting team at 49 percent and its leading 3-point shooting team at 40 percent.
"We pressured the ball," Collison said. "We did whatever it takes to disrupt the other team's offense. We're playing team ball. That extra pass really counts."
The Wildcats struggled from the start, going 2-of-11 from the floor in the opening nine minutes as UCLA led 23-8.
Love and Collison combined to score 12 of 14 points in that run. Love stole the ball from Jordan Hill on the offensive end, leading to a basket by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. Collison followed with a 3-pointer.
"I looked at Hill's body language a little bit in the second half when we were up 24," Love said. "Then I looked at Russell and said, `Let's keep it going.'"
Arizona's 22 points were its fewest in a half this season and the Wildcats' halftime deficit was their largest of the season.
They got no closer than 19 points in the second half. UCLA ran off 12 straight, including six by Westbrook, for a 78-46 lead with 6:07 remaining.
Mbah a Moute sprained his left ankle with 7 1/2 minutes remaining. Howland had no immediate update after the game.