Monday, November 23, 2009


Preview of the Pepperdine Game
By Rob Carpentier Date: Nov 23, 2009
The 1-1 Bruins take on still-rebuilding Pepperdine tonight and, while the Waves have some talent, they're young, undisciplined and sloppy (sound familiar?), which should make it easier on the Bruins...

The UCLA Bruins return to action Monday night when they host the Waves of Pepperdine, in what is the last of the “lightweight” opponents before the Bruins step up in competition over the Thanksgiving weekend.
UCLA is coming off its first win of the season, a 75-64 victory over Cal State Bakersfield, while Pepperdine is coming off its first win of the year, a two-point victory over Cal State San Bernardino. The Waves sit at 1-2 on the young season, with two home losses to Pacific and Long Beach State. The Bruins are 1-1, having suffered a somewhat surprising loss to Cal State Fullerton in UCLA’s season-opener. To put the competition in perspective, it appears that Fullerton is better than the preseason predictions would have people believe, so much so that the Titans are probably better than Pacific and roughly equal to preseason Big West Conference favorite LBSU.
Pepperdine head coach Tom Asbury, who is in his second stint as coach of the Waves, has brought a sense of stability to a program that truly was a mess the last few seasons before Asbury returned. Although the Waves finished 9-23 last season, they were a much better squad at the end of the year than they were at the beginning. A lot of the growth of Asbury’s squad was simply the maturation of many players that were either freshmen or sophomores, which even this season makes up the bulk of Pepperdine’s roster.
The best player on the Pepperdine roster, and one that will give the Bruins problems is sophomore guard Keion Bell (6’3”, 200 lbs.). Bell is the Waves’ leading scorer at 21 PPG, and tied for the team lead in rebounds at 7.7 RPG. Bell isn’t a great shooter but he finds ways to score. He is quick and is always a threat to take the ball into the paint. Statistically he is shooting less than 50% from the floor and only 27% from behind the arc, but he’s been to the foul line 23 times, hitting on 70% of those attempts. The real weakness of Bell, and generally the weakness of the entire Pepperdine squad, is his propensity to turn over the ball. Bell has 12 turnovers on the year, while the squad has a whopping 47 in 3 games, even counting the win against San Bernardino. Contrast that with the only 31 assists the Waves have as a team (of which Bell has 12), and the picture of a team that gives up a lot of buckets in transition becomes clearer. In terms of defending Bell, Coach Ben Howland should instruct Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee to play off Bell and force him to shoot from outside. Bell is by far the leading assist man for the Waves and most of those assists come from Bell dishing off once he gets into the lane. If the Bruins cut off Bell’s ability to penetrate then they’ll cut off much of Pepperdine’s offense.
Bell’s backcourt mate is freshman Joshua Lowery (6’2”, 190 lbs.). Lowery hasn’t proven to be much of an offensive threat, averaging only 3.7 PPG and having only hit one shot from the floor. Lowery has been automatic from the free-throw line though, (8-8), so the Bruins would be much better off letting him shoot from outside rather than letting him get into the paint.

Lowery averages less than 20 MPG, though, as Asbury has gone to sophomore Lorne Jackson (6’2”, 205 lbs.), who is much more of an offensive weapon. Jackson averages 7 PPG and is clearly the Waves’ best outside threat, having hit on 6-of-9 shots from behind the arc. Jackson is the complete opposite of Bell, as he likes to float around the three-point line and rarely ventures into the lane.
The frontcourt is anchored by the most senior player on Asbury’s squad, junior forward Mychal Thompson (6’7”, 200 lbs.), the son of former Laker and namesake Mychal Thompson. Thompson is better than his stats are showing to this point; He is averaging only 7.3 PPG and 5 RPG, but he is a better player than that. He has enough quickness to be a threat inside and he will pull his defender out to the arc. Thompson’s offensive problems so far this season stem mostly from his cold outside shooting to begin the season, going 0-8 from long distance. Thompson is the defensive anchor in the paint for the Waves and getting him into any sort of foul trouble would be a real problem for Pepperdine.
The low post if manned by sophomore Taylor Darby (6’8”, 220 lbs.), who averages 8 PPG and is tied with Bell for the team lead at 7.7 RPG. He is strictly an inside player, having not attempted a three-point shot and having been to the foul line 15 times. Darby is, however, only hitting on 53% of his foul shots (which would actually make him one of UCLA’s better foul shooters). UCLA’s frontcourt players shouldn’t have as much trouble guarding Darby as they did in the first half of the CSUB game against the Roadrunners’ Satwon Latunde. Lutunde is a wide-body while Darby is built more like a ‘3’ than a power forward or center.
The final starting spot will be filled primarily by either junior Gus Clardy (6’8”, 225 lbs.) or sophomore Corbin Moore (6’10”, 240 lbs.). Although they both are bigger bodies than anyone else that Asbury plays, they collectively average only 32 MPG, 5.7 PPG and 5 RPG. Their modest combined minutes are more than likely the result of Pepperdine having played smaller, quicker teams in their first three games. Expect to see more minutes on Monday for one or both players in matching up against UCLA, especially if the Bruins get a lot of their offense in the paint.
Asbury plays a ten-man rotation because he’s still trying to figure out his best rotation and because Asbury will try and pressure the ball at times. Having fresh bodies helps on the defensive end in trying to achieve Asbury’s goals. In fact, only Bell, Thompson and Darby are averaging over 20 MPG, although all three are averaging at least 29 MPG. Barring foul trouble, expect to see those three on the court for at least 32 minutes.
Of Asbury’s bench players, the biggest threat is sophomore Dane Suttle (6’6”, 210 lbs.). Suttle is a true inside-out threat, averaging 9 PPG on 53% shooting from the floor and 44% from behind the arc. Suttle provides the Waves another offensive option, however, he is a defensive liability. When Suttle is in the game expect the Waves to be in some sort of zone defense.
Asbury is a good coach with a solid philosophy and he surely will have looked at game tape of the Bruins’ first two games. He is much like Ben Howland in that he preaches defense and rebounding first. The Waves are outrebounding their opponents by more than 9 RPG, although that is partly a result of the shorter competition they’ve faced so far. Rebounding, however, has been a cause for concern for UCLA coming out of the preseason and although the Bruins rebounded better than expected in their first two games, Pepperdine will present a test on the boards. Because of UCLA’s difficulties in attacking zone defenses, expect to see the Waves in a variety of zones. The good news for the Bruins is that they looked good in attacking CSUB’s active zone in the second half last Friday night. UCLA can also expect to see some full- and ¾-court pressure from Pepperdine.
Because of Pepperdine’s style and their tendency to turn over the ball, this is a perfect opportunity for UCLA’s Anderson to play a more relaxed game, as he did in the second half Friday night. Any mistakes at the point by Anderson will more than likely be offset by the fact that Pepperdine is just as likely to give the ball right back to the Bruins.
While there is a talent difference between the two squads, what could really turn this game into an easy victory for the Bruins is Pepperdine’s turnover situation. Unless that suddenly changes, and to this point they’ve shown nothing to lead anyone to believe that will happen, the Bruins will be able to get easy points. UCLA has had very few transition points in its two games, but Pepperdine’s penchant for turnovers should boost those numbers in this game. Add to that the fact that Thompson is the only Wave who has played in Asbury’s system for more than one year and you have the makings of a team that will make a lot of mistakes. If the Bruins can play as they did in the second half of the CSUB game, then this game will be one of the few easy victories the Bruins have on their schedule, even though Pepperdine does have a team at least as talented as many of their West Coast Conference brethren.
UCLA 77 Pepperdine 60

UCLA Downs Men's Hoops, 71-52
Courtesy: Pepperdine Sports Information
Release: 11/23/2009

Pepperdine-UCLA Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Pepperdine sophomore guard Keion Bell continued to show why he is a rising star on the West Coast, but the UCLA men's basketball team rallied late to put away the visiting Waves, 71-52, on Monday night.
UCLA's lead was just five with a little more than eight minutes to play, but the Bruins (2-1) then went on a 12-1 run and continued to increase their lead in the final minutes.
Bell (Los Angeles, Calif./Pasadena HS) kept up his strong play with a game-high 22 points, 19 of which came in the second half. He's scored 20 or more points in each of Pepperdine's four games this season. Bell also had four steals, three assists and three rebounds in 32 minutes.
The last Pepperdine player to score 20-plus points in four consecutive games was Glen McGowan in January 2005, and the last Wave player to start a season on a stretch like this was Dane Suttle Sr. in 1982-83.
Unfortunately, no one else on Pepperdine (1-3) had more than six points, and the Bruins outshot the Waves 54.3% to 41.3%.
The Waves and Bruins were tied 14-14 with 8:45 to play in the first half after a couple of Pepperdine baskets. Sophomore center Corbin Moore (Cypress, Calif./Los Alamitos HS) and freshman guard Caleb Willis (Stockbridge, Ga./Stockbridge HS) worked a pick-and-roll that resulted in a lay-up for Moore, and junior forward Mychel Thompson (Portland, Ore./Stoneridge Prep) drove in for a reverse lay-up.
But UCLA went on an 8-0 run over the next five minutes to go up 22-14. The Waves got it back to four points at 24-20 after a jumper by junior forward Jonathan Dupre' (Houston, Texas/Collin County CC) and a tip-in by Moore, but the Bruins scored the half's final four points and went into the break with a 28-20 advantage.
After scoring three first-half points, Bell heated up early in the second half and scored 12 of the Waves' first 15 points. The Bruins had also picked things up offensively, however, and quickly built a double-digit lead.
Another spurt by Bell got the Waves right back into it, however. He made a driving lay-up, then stole the ball at the other end and went all the way for a dunk, cutting UCLA's lead to 46-41 with less than 10 minutes to play.
It was still a five-point game at 48-43 when Bell fed junior forward Gus Clardy (Nacogdoches, Texas/Nacogdoches HS) for a short jumper with 8:25 left.
But UCLA's Drew Gordon, who had a team-high 18 points, scored the final seven of a 12-1 run that pushed UCLA's lead up to 16 at 60-44 with less than five minutes to go.
Michael Roll added 17 points for UCLA, which included five three-pointers.
The Waves are now in the midst of a five-game stretch away from Malibu. They next travel to Wyoming this weekend for the World Vision Challenge, where they will face Hampton, Monmouth and the host Cowboys. Fans can listen to Al Epstein's broadcasts at with a subscription to Wave Casts.
UCLA Defeats Pepperdine, 71-52
The Bruins improve to 2-1.

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UCLA Defeats Pepperdine, 71-52
UCLA Hosts Pepperdine on Monday Night
Nov. 23, 2009
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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Forward Drew Gordon scored 18 points and guard Michael Roll added 17 as UCLA overcame Pepperdine 71-52 Monday night.
The Bruins (2-1) were up by only five points midway through the second half when they went on a 16-4 run to pull away from the Waves.
UCLA guard Michael Roll (20) and Pepperdine forward Mychel Thompson (15) watch a loose ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Nov. 23, 2009, in Los Angeles.
The Bruins were playing their second consecutive game without suspended forward Nikola Dragovic, their only returning starter. Gordon added nine rebounds and Roll, who hit five 3-pointers, had five assists. Guard Malcolm Lee added 13 points for the Bruins.
Pepperdine (1-3) was led by guard Keion Bell?s 22 points, but no other Wave reached double figures in scoring.,0,2255926.story
Bruins take (baby) steps forward in 71-52 win over Pepperdine
A week after shocking loss to Cal State Fullerton in season opener, UCLA gets its second straight win and exhibits at least a few signs of progress.
By David Wharton
November 24, 2009
For now, at least, the UCLA basketball team will have to suffice with small improvements, glimmers of progress.Baby steps. Still looking to work their way back from a season-opening loss, the Bruins kept moving in the right direction with a 71-52 victory over Pepperdine on Monday night. "I'm sure losing that game hurt everybody," Coach Ben Howland said of the opener. "It should hurt. And that's motivation."Playing before another small crowd at Pauley Pavilion, his team finally showed hints of the pressure defense for which Howland's program has been known over the last few seasons.The Bruins prevailed with better shooting from Malcolm Lee and Michael Roll, and with Drew Gordon's continued development at center. "I think it's just that our team is starting to click," said Gordon, who scored 18 points. "I think everybody's starting to feel more confident on the floor."The Waves (1-3) are a rebuilding project under Coach Tom Asbury, their lone victory this season coming against Cal State San Bernardino Howland expected to face a young but athletic opponent that might reach as deep as 10 players down the bench.
The Bruins (2-1) wanted to pay particular attention to defending the wings against guard Keion Bell, who entered the game averaging 21 points, and forward Mychel Thompson, son of the former Laker. Toward that end, UCLA came out pressuring Bell into an early turnover, Gordon jumping out to block a Thompson jumper on the perimeter.It took a while for the offense to get moving -- again, the Bruins seemed confused about how to attack a zone defense.But Gordon and Lee eventually found a rhythm and, when forward James Keefe flashed to the high post and hit a jumper, UCLA led, 28-20, after the first half.
That lead stretched to 11 points early in the second half and only a flurry of plays by Bell, on his way to 22 points, kept the Waves within striking distance. Pepperdine inched back but only for a while, eventually falling by the wayside as Gordon, Roll (17) and Lee (13) combined for 48 points. The Bruins shot 54% from the field and made 87% of their free throws." Teams are definitely going to have trouble covering all three of us," Roll said. "We all had open shots."Still, the Bruins have plenty of room for improvement. They have yet to enforce their will on the boards, allowing Pepperdine to stay even in rebounds. And another concern -- point guard Jerime Anderson missed most of the second half because of cramps, prompting Howland to say: "We're going to force bananas down his throat every meal."Anderson's absence forced the thin UCLA backcourt to go with former walk-on Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, who responded with 10 points.But now the learning curve gets significantly steeper in the 76 Classic tournament at Anaheim Convention Center over the Thanksgiving holiday. First up? A Portland squad that recently upset wobbly Oregon."Day by day we're going to get better," Gordon said. "We'll see where that takes us." Wharton
Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pepperdine (1-2) at U-C-L-A (1-1)
By Sports Network Last updated: November 23rd, 2009 07:43 AM (PST)
GAME NOTES: The Pepperdine Waves will hit the road for the first time this season when they come crashing down at Pauley Pavilion to take on the UCLA Bruins.
The Waves opened their new season with back-to-back losses to Pacific (67-64 2OT) and Long Beach State (67-58). However, the team finally tasted victory for the first time this season with a win in its last matchup, as the Waves slipped past CS San Bernardino, 72-70. After this contest the Waves will head to Laramie to take part in the Wyoming World Vision Challenge.
The Bruins' season began in heartbreaking fashion, as UCLA fell to Cal State Fullerton, 68-65, in double-overtime. The Bruins were able to bounce back however, as the team posted a 75-64 decision over CS-Bakersfield. UCLA will take part in the 76 Classic in Anaheim after this outing.
The Bruins have won 15 of the 19 meetings against Pepperdine, and 14 of those wins have come at Pauley Pavilion.
The Waves have been unable to find a groove offensively in the early stages of this season and come into this matchup averaging just 64.7 ppg, behind an equally poor 38.4 percent shooting effort. Keion Bell has been the only bright spot thus far for Pepperdine, as the guard is leading the team with 21.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 12 assists. The last time the Waves were on the court the team put forth its best effort on the year, netting 72 points en route to a win over CS San Bernardino. Bell led the way once again for Pepperdine, scoring 22 points, to go along with eight assists and seven rebounds. Lorne Jackson added 12 points, while Taylor Darby and Muchel Thompson contributed 11 and 10 points, respectively.
After scoring only 65 points in a double-overtime loss to CS Fullerton in their opener, the Bruins put forth a slightly better effort against CS Bakersfield to grab a victory. UCLA shot a sizzling 59.3 percent from the floor, but the team made only 4-of-13 shots from long range, and also committed 21 turnovers. All five players finished in double-figures, beginning with Drew Gordon, who netted 19 points and also collected six caroms. Michael Roll added 12 points and six assists, while James Keefe, Jerime Anderson and Malcolm Lee each tallied 10 points in the win. It was the second consecutive game Lee finished in double-figures, as the guard led the team against Fullerton with 17 points. Roll also tallied 17 points in the opener, and also dished out five assists.
The Bruins have not been dominating this season, but look for UCLA to really pick up its play this evening. The Bruins are simply too strong for Pepperdine and should have no trouble surfing the Waves.

Originally published: November 23rd, 2009 07:43 AM (PST)
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UCLA 71, Pepperdine 52
Associated Press
-- Forward Drew Gordon scored 18 points and guard Michael Roll added 17 as UCLA overcame Pepperdine 71-52 Monday night.
The Bruins (2-1) were up by only five points midway through the second half when they went on a 16-4 run to pull away from the Waves.
The Bruins were playing their second consecutive game without suspended forward Nikola Dragovic, their only returning starter. Gordon added nine rebounds and Roll, who hit five 3-pointers, had five assists. Guard Malcolm Lee added 13 points for the Bruins.
Pepperdine (1-3) was led by guard Keion Bell's 22 points, but no other Wave reached double figures in scoring.
Bell has scored at least 20 points in each of Pepperdine's four games. He reached the 20 mark only three times last season despite being the Waves' leading scorer
UCLA trailed 6-4 early, but never again. The Bruins offense started slowly, but they shot 54.3 percent by the night's end and ran away with the game in the closing minutes. UCLA was also 13 of 15 from the free-throw line.
Dragovic was on the UCLA bench in street clothes. He was suspended for a second game following his arrest for assault last Friday.
UCLA also played without starting guard Jerime Anderson for most of the second half, losing him to leg cramps. Mustafa Abdul-Hamid came off the bench in his place and added a career-high 10 points for the Bruins.

Recap: U-C-L-A vs. Pepperdine

By Sports Network; The Sports Network
Published: 11/23/09 11:16 pm Updated: 11/23/09 11:16 pm

Drew Gordon scored 18 points and collected nine rebounds to lead the UCLA Bruins to a 71-52 victory over the Pepperdine Waves in a non-conference battle at Pauley Pavilion.
Michael Roll added 17 points and five assists for UCLA (2-1), while Malcolm Lee posted 13 points. Mustafa Abdul-Hamid contributed 10 points off the bench in the win.
Keion Bell was the only player to post double-figures for Pepperdine (1-3), as the guard scored 22 points in the loss.
The Bruins held Pepperdine to a mere 34.6 percent shooting effort from the floor in the opening half and went into the break with a 28-20 lead.
In the second stanza the Bruins shot a staggering 63.6 percent from the field, en route to the 19-point win.
UCLA made 8-of-19 attempts from behind the arc, while the Waves connected on just 2-of-8 shots from long range.

UCLA Improves, With An Asterisk
UCLA took another step forward in beating Pepperdine Monday, 71-52.
Of course, UCLA’s progress this season isn’t going to be a bar graph with a line going up diagonally. You can probably expect it be pretty jagged. A kind of thing where you see a step forward, a step back, two steps forward. There are probably going to be some pretty ugly steps back, in fact.
And, you have to maybe put a bit of an asterisk next to the step forward against Pepperdine since, as we said in the season preview, the Waves simply aren’t very good.
But all in all, UCLA played significantly better than their first two outings. And they did it with their point guard, Jerime Anderson, sitting for pretty much the entire second half with severe cramps, and shooting guard, Malcolm Lee, sitting because of foul trouble.

(UCLA ended up even with Pepperdine with 26 boards each.) In the second half, with Anderson and Lee on the bench, Pepperdine had cut the lead to 46-41 with just about 10 minutes remaining. For whatever reason, the Waves dropped their zone defense, which was fairly effective, and went back to a man, and UCLA took advantage, particularly with Gordon. Howland, recognizing Gordon’s scoring advantage inside, called a number of successive plays that got Gordon the ball in the low block and he converted. UCLA’s good execution on the offensive end inspired a stronger defensive effort, and the Bruins went on a 16-4 run over the next five minutes or so that iced the game. It was not only because UCLA settled down, executed its offense, and played strong defense, it was because they actually had a good low-post scoring option; Gordon scored 9 points in that run.
Lee also played a more under-control game, only taking one ill-advised shot, shooting 4 for 8 for 13 points, and leading the charge at the free-throw line, going 4 for 4. Defensively, he truly limited Pepperdine’s quick, scoring guard, Keion Bell, in the first half, when Bell had just 3 points on 1-of-5 shooting. With Lee playing less minutes in the second half, and Pepperdine doing everything it could to switch defenders on Bell, he found his scoring groove. But Lee played well overall, with no turnovers and a few jump stops mixed in.
Roll started off a bit shaky, with some turnovers and missed open looks, but then righted the ship and played well. After missing those two initial three-pointers, he then went 5 for 7 the rest of the way from behind the three-point arc, ending with 17 points and five assists against 2 turnovers. He hit a very big three with 6:34 left and UCLA up by just 7 that seemed to deflate the Wave.
UCLA struggled a bit against the zone, again, but (again) once it perceived the weaknesses in Pepperdine’s version it started to execute against it better. UCLA made its run mostly against Pepperdine’s man, executing Howland’s sets very well. It’s interesting that Howland has continued to call for motion many times this season when it seems that this team is better offensively when it’s executing his sets.
The fact that UCLA executed the sets so well will probably further encourage future opponents to use a zone predominantly.
It’s interesting that UCLA held its first two opponents to 40% shooting, and held Pepperdine to 41%. Those are stats that show an effective defense, even though, on the court, it doesn’t look nearly as effective as the defensive field goal stats indicate. UCLA’s on-ball defense has seemingly improved, but is still not great. Again, UCLA hasn’t exactly faced an offensive powerhouse yet, so it is yet to be seen how this defense will fare against a team-full of guys who can take you off the dribble.
Where this team definitely needs to develop is in its transition scoring. It got 13 fast-break points against Pepperdine, which was considerably more than it got against Bakersfield or Fullerton. But it’s still not getting as many opportunities in transition, seemingly needing a guy to leak out more and get behind the defense (Malcolm Lee?). If UCLA is going to continue to struggle in its halfcourt, against all the zone variations it’s going to see, it has to be able to get more easy baskets in transition.
Another step forward: We’ll see if the line on the graph continues to move upward Thursday in the first round of the loaded 76 Classic against a very good and experienced Portland team.

Lawyer: UCLA's Dragovic to plead not guilty; Bruins defeat Pepperdine
By Jon Gold, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/23/2009 11:22:39 PM PST
In Monday's game, Malcolm Lee took care of the penetration. Michael Roll handled the outside game. Drew Gordon did the rest.
Lee had 13 points, including nine in the first half, Roll had 17 points and five 3-pointers, and Gordon had 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks as the Bruins (2-1) defeated the Waves (1-3).
"We all have to keep contributing," Roll said. "Drew is a great presence down low, which opens it up for me and Malcolm. Malcolm and I complement each other, as well. Teams are definitely going to have trouble covering all three of us."
With sophomore point guard Jerime Anderson sidelined early in the second half with a right leg cramp, Lee took over the role of primary penetrator. Lee got into the lane and slashed through Pepperdine's young backcourt trio of sophomores Keion Bell - who led all scorers with 22 points - and Lorne Jackson and freshman Joshua Lowery.
Gordon had seven points in the first half on 3-of-4 shooting, including a monster dunk on a putback, and was a force in the paint, hauling in six rebounds as the Bruins built an eight-point halftime lead.
"If I can establish myself as someone who looks like they can play basketball, everybody kind of kicks back on their heels," Gordon said. "But at this level, everybody tries to play strong. I hope it doesn't intimidate them too bad."
With the win, UCLA moves closer to erasing the horrid memories of its season-opening 68-65 double-overtime loss to Cal State Fullerton.
"We're a young team, and it was kind of expected to test out the waters," Gordon said. "It's a good look at how bad we could be. We're picking it up now, and by the end of the season, hopefully we can look back on the preseason and say, `Wow, we were terrible."'

UCLA pulls away from Pepperdine, 71-52
The Associated Press


From baby steps to a full stride, the young UCLA Bruins believe they are on the move.
Forward Drew Gordon had 18 points and nine rebounds, and guard Michael Roll added 17 points and five assists as the Bruins overwhelmed Pepperdine 71-52 Monday night.
It was UCLA's second consecutive victory after a disappointing double-overtime loss to Cal State Fullerton in its season opener.
"We're starting to improve and learn each other's tendencies," Roll said. "We're going to get better."
UCLA (2-1) trailed 6-4 at the game's start before slowly taking control. The Bruins' lead was down to five points 10 minutes into the second half when they went on a 16-4 run to pull away from the Waves (1-3).
"We got a couple of stops and them Michael hit some big shots for us," said UCLA coach Ben Howland.
Roll knocked down 5-of-9 from 3-point range. UCLA, which hit only 33.3 percent of its field goals in its opening loss to Fullerton, shot 54.3 percent from the field against the Waves.
Pepperdine (1-3) was led by guard Keion Bell's 22 points, but no other Wave reached double figures in scoring.
Bell has scored at least 20 points in each of Pepperdine's four games. He reached the 20 mark only three times last season despite being the Waves' leading scorer.
"We played very good, but we broke down defensively in the second half," said Pepperdine coach Tom Asbury. "We will learn from this. We are young. We have no seniors, no leadership, but it will evolve."
UCLA played its second consecutive game without suspended forward Nikola Dragovic since he was arrested for assault Friday. Dragovic was dressed in street clothes on the team bench.
Howland said he had no update on when Dragovic might rejoin the team. Dragovic is UCLA's only returning starter.
Without him, the Bruins played seven underclassmen Monday, including sophomore starters Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson and Gordon. Anderson played only the opening minute of the second half before leaving with leg cramps.
Lee added 13 points for the Bruins. Mustafa Abdul-Hamid, getting extensive time in the second half in place of Anderson, scored a career-high 10 points off the bench.
With Roll, Lee and Abdul-Hamid hitting from outside, the Bruins frequently were able to find Gordon open inside.
"We all have to keep contributing," Roll said. "Drew is a great presence inside, which just opens it up outside for me."
UCLA kept the pressure on at the end, outscoring Pepperdine 25-11 in the final minutes.
"Day by day, we're getting better," Gordon said. "We're just going to see where this takes us."

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Times reporters blog about high school sports across the Southland

Boys' basketball: Simi Valley in the spotlight
November 24, 2009 6:44 am

The Simi Valley alumni game is this week, but it looked like Monday night at Pauley Pavilion the game was already being played when UCLA was facing Pepperdine.
Among the Simi Valley graduates were Pepperdine's Lorne Jackson and UCLA's Tyler Trapani. Pepperdine assistant coach Marty Wilson is a Simi Valley grad. Announcing the game for Prime Ticket was Don MacLean, the best player in Simi Valley history. And one of the officials was Mike Scyphers, the former Simi Valley baseball coach.
Now, if only Simi Valley Coach Christian Aurand could have found a way to get into the conversation.
-- Eric Sondheimer

Nov. 23, 2009
WALNUT CREEK - Cal junior linebacker Mike Mohamed was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, winning the award for the third time in his career and on the second occasion in 2009. Mohamed is one of five Cal players to be honored with a Pac-10 Player of the Week selection this season, joining Offensive Player of the Week picks of Kevin Riley (Sept. 5) and Jahvid Best (Sept. 19), and Special Teams Player of the Week selections Bryan Anger (Oct. 17) and Giorgio Tavecchio (Nov. 14).
Mohamed, who earned the first national honor of his career Sunday when he was named a College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Honorable Mention Performer of the Week, preserved a 34-28 Cal victory in the Big Game at Stanford on Saturday when he intercepted Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck at the Cal 3-yard line with 1:36 remaining in the contest. Mohamed also had a team-high 10 tackles.
Mohamed leads the Pac-10 with a career-high 100 tackles in 2009 and ranks No. 35 nationally with an average of 9.09 stops per contest. He has five double-digit tackle games this season, while recording at least seven tackles in 10 of 11 games and at least nine stops in eight of those contests. His three interceptions lead the Bears and his 0.27 picks per game rank tied for sixth in the Pac-10.

Cal sophomore tailback Shane Vereen, who earned multiple national honors Sunday (Walter Camp Football Foundation BCS National Offensive Player of the Week, AT&T All-America Player of the Week Award Nominee, CFPA Honorable Mention Running Back Performer of the Week), was also nominated for Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week.
Vereen rushed 42 times for 193 yards (both career highs) and three touchdowns (tied career-high) in the Big Game victory over Stanford. The 42 rushing attempts tied for the most in the nation in 2009 along with Central Florida's Brynn Harvey, who had 42 carries against Memphis on Oct. 3.
Cal will enjoy a bye week before traveling to Washington (3-7, 2-5 Pac-10) for the final regular season game of the 2009 campaign for both teams on Saturday

… on whether he thought he would carry the ball 42 times: "Never. I was just taking it play-by-play."
… on the O-line: "They were amazing. Each play, they got off the ball and did their jobs. They gave Kevin time and opened up nice holes for me. They played their best game tonight."
… on getting down 14-0: "We stopped ourselves the first couple drives. Once we calmed down and relaxed, we knew what we needed to do."
Vereen was the star of stars Saturday evening
… on the final Stan drive: "You get a little nervous but I had complete confidence in our defense."
… on the win: "I've been through three Big Games before and each one means more each year. This one meant a lot. If we lost, I can't come back to redeem myself because this was my last one."
… on getting picked up by fans after the game: "He asked me if I wanted to be picked up? I said, 'Sure.' I hoped he would carry me to the locker room. But it felt good to have that fan support. Me being up there on his shoulders looking down, it was a heck of an experience. The Berkeley fans really appreciate what we do for this program. It just feels good to bring the Axe back home."
… on the defense performance: "Overall we were playing downhill, being physical. There were a couple big runs in there, but other than that, I thought we did a pretty good job."
… on getting down 14-0: "We didn't panic. We knew we just had to stick in there and keep fighting."
… on the surprise that the ball came right to him: "It's hard to believe. But I'm glad it did."
… on why Cal won: "It was about X's and O's and who wanted it more. Stanford plays a real physical game and the past two weeks they've beaten Oregon and USC because they play discipline. We did a good job."
… on adjusting to Luck's scrambles: "We didn't put a spy on him or anything. The 'backers just became more aware of it. We got used to it and came downhill a little bit faster. We just tried to hit the guy."
Emotions were running high after the Bears took down the Cardinal Saturday evening on The Farm. In a game that went back-and-forth, Cal capped off a memorable night with a feel-good postgame locker room celebration, highlighted by the traditional "Bear Territory" chant, which was led by head coach Jeff Tedford and a handful of other players. Check out video of the jubilation