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Penn May Be the Cure for UCLA Losing Streak

December 14, 1987|TRACY DODDS | Times Staff Writer

UCLA's four-game losing streak is likely to come to an end tonight when the University of Pennsylvania, last year's Ivy League champion, visits Pauley Pavilion.

Penn, 1-3 after losing to UC Irvine, 90-66, Friday night, will be running into some very hungry Bruins.

It's bad enough to lose four straight. These same Bruins lost four straight last year. But when three straight are on your home court--that's embarrassing.

Tonight's 7:30 game against Penn will be the fourth in a five-game home stand before UCLA opens its Pac-10 schedule on the road. There is a sense of urgency developing.

As UCLA Coach Walt Hazzard puts it: "We need to get this thing turned around real quick. When you're in a losing streak, you want to get things turned around yesterday."

Penn looks as if it's a good target. The fifth and final game of this home series will be against UC Irvine Thursday night. Considering the score of the Penn-Irvine game, if the Bruins can't beat Penn . . .

But Ernie Carr, the UCLA assistant coach who scouted the game at Irvine, says that Penn isn't really that far behind Irvine.

Carr said: "It really wasn't a 24-point game the way it looked in the box score. With about 12 1/2 minutes to play, Irvine was up only 49-47. . . .

"They're not a very tall team. They have two 6-foot 7-inch guys (forward Hassan Duncombe and center Ben Spiva.) They play a slow tempo. They'll try to control the tempo of the game."

The Quakers have only one player, senior forward Tyrone Pitts, back from the team that won the Ivy League title last season. They also have Walt Frazier, the son of the former New York Knick star, at guard alongside freshman Jerry Simon, who has recently worked his way into the starting lineup.

Simon, the 1986 City player of the year, once scored 69 points for Marshall High School.

Bruin Notes

There will be no telecast of tonight's game, but it will be broadcast live by KMPC (710). . . . Penn's only victory came over LaSalle. In its first two games, the Quakers lost to Lehigh, 96-75, and to Villanova, 84-55. . . . Penn was 13-14 last season and won the Ivy League title with a 10-4 record to advance to the NCAA tournament. The Quakers lost in the first round to North Carolina. . . . Tonight's game will be the first meeting between the schools . . . Guard Pooh Richardson and forward Trevor Wilson lead the team in scoring, each averaging 14.6 points a game. Richardson also leads the team in assists (41) and steals (8).

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