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January 27, 2008
UCLA slaps Oregon State
CORVALLIS, Ore.(AP) When Oregon State briefly took a first-half lead against No. 8 UCLA, reality set in that maybe the Bruins should have taken the Beavers more seriously.
The Bruins woke up and went on to easily defeat Oregon State 85-62 on Saturday night.
Darren Collison had a career-high 33 points. Kevin Love, an Oregon native who drew some criticism for leaving his home state in favor of the Bruins, scored 16 points and had a UCLA freshman record 21 rebounds.
"I won't say we overlooked this game, but it wasn't the intensity we had at Oregon (Thursday night)," Love said. "The crowd was up for this game. They were up for this game. They gave UCLA their best shot."
Love's previous freshman-best was 18 rebounds set at Oregon. He has 11 double-doubles this season.
Freshman guard Lathen Wallace had a career-high 18 points for Oregon State (6-14, 0-8 Pacific-10 ), which trailed by as many as 25 points.
The Bruins (18-2, 6-1) were coming off an 80-75 victory over Oregon, where Love's father, Stan Love, played. Love scored 26 points and 18 rebounds in the game, during which he was mercilessly taunted by the fans.
"A successful trip, that's all I can say. I'm not really a guy about individual stats, but I thought we came out and had a very successful weekend," Love said.
The Beavers were coming off a 68-44 loss to USC on Thursday, their first game with interim coach Kevin Mouton in charge. Jay John was fired last Sunday with a record of 72-97 and a conference mark of 26-68.
UCLA led 25-14 after Collison's layup. But Oregon State kept up the pressure and outscored the Bruins 16-6 to close to 31-30.
After Love made one of two free throws, Seth Tarver hit a 3-pointer to put the Beavers ahead 33-32, and the crowd at Gill Coliseum took to its feet.
The Beavers could not hold the lead, and Collison made four straight free throws as UCLA went up 38-35, then led 43-39 at the half.
The Bruins began to pull away in the second half, opening with a 17-1 run capped by Collison's 3-pointer that made it 60-40. The Beavers shot just 22.2 percent from the floor in the second half, after making 48.5 percent from the floor in the first.
Coach Ben Howland praised Love, who was a star at Lake Oswego High School some 70 miles north of Corvallis.
"He had an unbelievable weekend, to come home and do what he did on the road this weekend is just incredible," Howland said. "For him to come out and play so well in front of his family and friends, and control his emotions, be so poised. That was big for us."
The Bruins saw the return of center Lorenzo Mata-Real, who missed the Thursday's game because of a concussion he suffered last weekend in an upset loss to USC at Pauley Pavilion.
Forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who also suffered a concussion in the loss to the Trojans, did not return.
UCLA has won six straight against the Beavers. Their last meeting, last season in Los Angeles, ended with Bruins winning 82-35.
"They have two special guys, they have a great couch," Mouton said about the Bruins. "So it will be interesting to see where they end up."