December 04, 2014

LOS ANGELES (AP) Another blowout victory at home for UCLA, with all five starters in double figures again. The Bruins didn't relish that as much as their defensive effort.

They held Cal State Fullerton to 24 percent shooting on their way to a 73-45 victory Wednesday night while improving to 4-0 at Pauley Pavilion.

Norman Powell scored 18 points, making three 3-pointers, Bryce Alford added 14 points, and Tony Parker and Isaac Hamilton had 12 each. Freshman Kevon Looney had 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Bruins (6-2), who were coming off losing two of three games at last week's Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.

''We came out and tried to build an identity on defense,'' Powell said. ''We took a giant step defensively as a team. It's going to be interesting how we build off this game.''

The Bruins opened a stretch of four consecutive home games, which will be capped when they host No. 9 Gonzaga on Dec. 13.

Alex Harris led Fullerton (3-5) with 10 points. Lanerryl Johnson, who was averaging 18.1 points, finished with eight after picking up his third foul early in the second half.

''We wanted to come out and play hard, but we didn't do that,'' Harris said.

UCLA coach Steve Alford said it was the Bruins' best 40 minutes so far.

''We dominated the glass (50-34), they shot poorly and we didn't give them second shots,'' he said. ''A really good team effort for us.''

The Titans closed within 13 points in the second half on a three-point play by Kennedy Esume. But the Bruins answered with a 13-0 run, including five straight points by Alford that stretched their lead to 60-34. Powell and Hamilton chipped in 3-pointers, too.

Alford hit a 3-pointer as part of an 8-0 spurt over the closing minutes. His older brother, Kory, showed he can shoot long-range, too, coming off the bench to make a 3-pointer with a minute left.

Fullerton had been holding opponents to 63.8 points, but the Bruins exceeded that with nearly six minutes remaining.

The Titans shot 21 percent in the second half playing their fifth consecutive road game, having gone 2-3 in that stretch.

''We have to regroup and find our energy. It just wasn't there,'' Fullerton coach Dedrique Taylor said. ''We knew they had a size advantage, but what I was disappointed in is that we didn't match their physicality. We just have to work on being more physical.''

The Bruins built their largest lead of the first half, 40-23, on a give-and-go between Hamilton and Powell, who dunked going into the break. Parker missed just one shot in the half, when he scored 12 points and helped the Bruins shoot 50 percent. He was slowed in the second half, when he appeared to limp going after a rebound and also was saddled by four fouls.

Alford said he didn't think anything was wrong with Parker that would keep him out of the next game.

Parker just missed joining Looney with a double-double, finishing with nine rebounds.

''Me and Tony wanted to make a statement early, lay down the law inside there,'' Looney said.


Cal State Fullerton: The Titans played seven of their first eight games on the road, where they were 3-12 last season. ... Their only win in the series came on Nov. 16, 2009, a three-point victory in double overtime of the season opener. ... They fell to 7-38 all-time against Pac-12 schools.

UCLA: The Bruins improved to 10-1 all-time against the Titans. ... Looney recorded his fifth double-double.


The Bruins lost to ranked Oklahoma (by 10 points) and North Carolina (by 22 points) last week in the Bahamas.

''Those games showed us our weaknesses and flaws,'' Powell said.


When the Titans trail at halftime, they struggle to overcome the deficit. Just once this season, against Wright State, have they rallied to win after trailing at the break. That 67-62 victory was their first after trailing at the break since beating Long Beach State on March 1.


Cal State Fullerton: Hosts Pepperdine Saturday.

UCLA: Hosts San Diego Sunday.

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