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January 25, 2007
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BERKELEY, Calif. -Arron Afflalo scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and made all nine of his free throws, leading No. 3 UCLA past California 62-46 on Thursday night.
Josh Shipp added 12 points and threw a pretty behind-the-back bounce pass to Afflalo for a late basket, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute grabbed 11 rebounds in the Bruins' fourth straight win since a 68-66 loss at Oregon on Jan. 6 - the team's lone defeat so far.
Afflalo shot 7-for-13 and didn't score for the first time until making two free throws with 4:39 to go in the opening half.
Theo Robertson had 16 points, four rebounds and three assists and Ryan Anderson added 13 points and six boards but the Golden Bears disappointed the sellout crowd of 11,877 at Haas Pavilion, where many students packed their section about an hour before tipoff.
The Bruins (18-1, 7-1 Pac-10), coming off a sweep of the Arizona schools, finished 50 percent from the floor after a slow start and held Cal leader Ayinde Ubaka to no points and two assists on 0-for-8 shooting.
They beat the Bears in two of three meetings last season, and UCLA clinched a share of the Pac-10 title with a 67-58 overtime win in Berkeley last March 2. UCLA then defeated Cal again in the conference tournament championship game.
This time, the Bruins took their first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Afflalo with 3:55 before halftime - giving him five straight points after the free throws - to start a 7-0 spurt that helped UCLA to a 28-24 edge at the break.
Cal (12-8, 4-4), which returned home after playing six of its previous eight games on the road, gave up too many easy baskets in the second half. The Bears lost their second straight to a highly ranked conference opponent after a 92-84 setback at No. 7 Oregon on Saturday.
During Cal's quick start, Anderson hit a long 3 with a hand in his face to beat the 35-second buzzer and dunked the next time down the floor with the clock about to expire. Robertson's dunk on Cal's ensuing possession made it 13-8, causing UCLA coach Ben Howland to quickly call timeout.
The Bruins' Darren Collison was whistled for an offensive foul while driving the lane moments later.
After Jerome Randle's 3 with 10:24 remaining before halftime made it 16-8, UCLA answered with seven unanswered points, including five straight from Michael Roll.
UCLA missed its first four shots and had two early travel calls, finding it tough to establish any offensive rhythm against Cal's scrappy man defense. The Bruins, who were 8-of-20 to start the game, didn't reach the free-throw line for the first time until 9:54 remaining in the first half and Russell Westbrook missed both.
Already short-handed because of injury, Cal played another man down after losing forward Eric Vierneisel to a sprained left ankle in the final two minutes of Wednesday's practice. That left the Bears with only eight healthy scholarship players, including a former walkon and two freshmen.
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