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Ucla Game Report


Charting the Lead: A look at the Bruins' lead or deficit by the minute.

First Half

Utah State: 19

UCLA: 30

What Happened: UCLA Coach Steve Lavin benched forwards Jason Kapono and Matt Barnes for leaving study hall early, and started Ryan Bailey and T.J. Cummings in their place. Kapono and Barnes entered the game at the five-minute mark. The Bruins opened in a 2-3 zone and Utah State's Curtis Bobb and Tony Brown made a couple of jumpers early. Lavin switched to a man-to-man defense and UCLA began to harass the Aggies around the perimeter. Center Dan Gadzuric established himself early with two blocks in the first few minutes. The Aggies were atrocious over a 13 1/2-minute stretch, but UCLA seemed to rush itself during several possessions and failed to take full advantage. While Utah State went without a point for 10:19, the Bruins scored only 15. Because of that, the Aggies were fortunate to be down only 11 points at halftime.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: The boundless energy of Gadzuric. After a strong game against Hofstra, the 6-foot-10 junior was dominant on both ends. At one point, Gadzuric was so active, he pulled a rebound away from Cummings and drew a foul. He missed the ensuing two free throws but the play showed his tenacity.

Winning Number: Four. Gadzuric's number of blocks as he was an intimidating force in the middle. The center also altered several other Utah State shots.

Wrong Number: 22. The number of shots the Aggies missed in a row over a 13:38 span. Overall, they were six for 33 from the field for 18.2%.

Leading Scorers: UCLA--Gadzuric 8, Watson 8. Utah State--Shawn Daniels 7.

Leading Rebounders: UCLA--Gadzuric 9. Utah State--Bobb 8.

Second Half

Utah State: 50

UCLA: 75

What Happened: Because UCLA didn't deliver the knockout blow in the first half, Utah State opened with an 8-2 run to make things interesting. Point guard Bernard Rock was much more aggressive and the Aggies found some rhythm on offense. Rock's three-pointer on Utah State's best-executed play of the day cut the Bruins' lead to four. UCLA's press began to take effect. The turnovers came in a 12-2 run during which Watson and Billy Knight made steals on consecutive possessions that led to layups by Barnes. Gadzuric continued to dominate the middle and his slam off an assist from Knight finished off the Aggies.

What You Won't Find in the Box Score: Knight's defense, which has been excellent in the two tournament games. He has been adept at reading lanes and intercepting passes either off the press or in a half-court set. His steal came right after Watson's theft and the two plays led to easy baskets and a double-digit lead. Utah State was not heard from after that. The finish was so thorough that one-time starter Jason Flowers and walk-on Todd Ramasar got into the act with layups in garbage time.

Winning Number: 13. Points for Kapono. If the Bruins hoped to advance far into the tournament, they needed to get him going. After making only two of eight shots against Hofstra, he made his final five Saturday, three of them three-pointers.

Wrong Number: Four. Utah State's big men--Daniels, Dmitri Jorssen and backup Jeremy Vague--all picked up their fourth fouls in a span of 1:48, sealing the Aggies' fate.

Leading Scorers: UCLA--Kapono 13. Utah State--Rock 9.

Leading Rebounders: UCLA--Gadzuric 5. Utah State--Jorssen 3.

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