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UCLA BASKETBALL

UCLA wins, but it's no great exhibition

Bruins beat Cal State San Marcos, 83-60, but are not impressive against the NAIA school. Shabazz Muhammad scores 19 points for UCLA.

December 04, 2012|By Baxter Holmes
  • Shabazz Muhammad scored 19 points for UCLA in the Bruins' victory over Cal State San Marcos, 83-60.
Shabazz Muhammad scored 19 points for UCLA in the Bruins' victory… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )

The game didn't count, wasn't broadcast on television or radio, and wasn't witnessed in person by that many, either.

So the stakes for the UCLA basketball team were pretty low Tuesday night.

And the Bruins just barely lived up to the task.

The scoreboard total looked impressive, as UCLA won the exhibition game, 83-60, against Cal State San Marcos, an NAIA school.

But there wasn't much else that was impressive about the Bruins' performance.

Going in, UCLA planned to use the game, which carried just slightly more weight than a scrimmage, to work on its man-to-man defense.

The result:

"You can see our man defense … still has a lot of work to do," Coach Ben Howland said.

Playing in front of a markedly quiet 4,174 in Pauley Pavilion, the Cougars cut through the Bruins for easy baskets early on, pulling to within one point midway through the first half.

UCLA, which finished with 21 turnovers, struggled to build a double-digit lead late from there, but it pulled away in the second half, leading by as many as 28 points.

As for UCLA's defense, it held Cal State San Marcos to 38% shooting (25 for 66), but it wasn't even good.

"We've got to stop the lapses in defense," forward David Wear said.

Four players scored in double figures for UCLA, led by Shabazz Muhammad, who had 19 points. Larry Drew II had 10 points and 10 assists, Kyle Anderson grabbed 16 rebounds and Jordan Adams came up with five steals.

Quincy Lawson had 14 points to lead the Cougars.

UCLA (5-3) will head to Houston to face Texas (5-3) at Reliant Stadium on Saturday.

Etc.

After sitting out UCLA's last game because of a sprained ankle, center Tony Parker played 20 minutes and had three points, four turnovers and eight rebounds. ... "The No. 1 thing is that no one got hurt," Howland said. ... The exhibition game was pushed back in UCLA's schedule so that it could open its season in a renovated Pauley Pavilion against Indiana State on Nov. 9. ... UCLA had a 46-28 advantage in points in the paint.

baxter.holmes@latimes.com

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