UCLA 84, UC Riverside 70
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Brian Morrison scored 28 points, including six 3-pointers, and UCLA defeated UC Riverside 84-70 Wednesday night.
Morrison, a North Carolina transfer making his second start, helped the Bruins gain their first double-digit lead of the game with his third 3-pointer midway through the second half.
It was the start of a spurt in which Morrison took over the Bruins’ offense. He quickly followed with two more 3-pointers, then drove the lane to score and added another basket as UCLA led 69-55 with nine minutes remaining.
Morrison, a junior with two years of eligibility remaining, led North Carolina in 3-pointers during the 2001-02 season. As a freshman, he scored seven straight points and helped the Tar Heels beat UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
Villi Morton led Riverside with a career-high 22 points and Nate Carter added 16.
The Bruins (2-0) trailed by five early in the game, then built an eight-point lead before the Highlanders stayed within five points or less over the final seven minutes of the half. UCLA led 36-35 at the break.
The teams traded baskets to start the second half before Michael Fey and Cedric Bozeman combined to score 12 straight points for a 52-43 lead. It was the Bruins’ first breathing room since early in the first half.
From there on, Morrison, Dijon Thompson and Bozeman accounted for all of UCLA’s scoring. Thompson finished with 18 points despite sitting for five minutes after getting poked in the eye. Bozeman had 17 points and Fey 10 points.
Fey, who had a career-high 20 points in last week’s one-point opening win over Vermont, started at center. Ryan Hollins, another 7-footer like Fey, moved from backup center to starting power forward—a position the Bruins are thin at because of the absences of senior T.J. Cummings (academically ineligible) and freshman Trevor Ariza (collapsed lung).
Fey and Hollins practiced together for the first time this week before starting.
The Highlanders (0-4) lost to their third Pac-10 team in a week, having been beaten by Washington and Arizona State.
Riverside is 0-2 against UCLA, having lost the other meeting in 2001.