UCLA 77, California 62
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)—Dijon Thompson had 23 points and nine rebounds, and freshman Jordan Farmar added 15 points in UCLA’s 77-62 victory over California on Thursday night.
Arron Afflalo scored 12 points and Josh Shipp added 11 for the Bruins (14-8, 8-6 Pac-10), who avenged an embarrassing home loss to Cal last month with an equally one-sided victory at Haas Pavilion. With Thompson and UCLA’s three freshman starters scoring at least 10 points, the Bruins easily got their first win in Berkeley since 2000.
Thompson, the Pac-10’s second-leading scorer, led UCLA in scoring for the fifth time in the last six games. The senior had at least 20 points in each of those games, keeping UCLA in the hunt for an NCAA tournament bid.
Marquise Kately scored 14 points and Rod Benson had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Bears (12-11, 5-8), who struggled to hit open shots throughout their third loss in four games. Richard Midgley, their leading scorer, was 1-for-10, and the Bears’ five starters went 6-for-25 in the first half while UCLA built a double-digit lead.
UCLA went scoreless in the opening three minutes but overwhelmed the Bears for the rest of the night. Thompson scored most of his 11 points inside in the first half, and the Bruins played strong defense, forcing Cal to miss 21 of its first 26 shots.
The Bears then jumped to a 19-point lead less than four minutes after halftime.
Cal dominated the schools’ previous meeting last month, earning a 64-51 win in Los Angeles with stifling zone defense. The Bruins clearly made adjustments, getting 10 assists on their 16 first-half baskets with patient inside play and proficient outside shooting.
Farmar got a technical foul with 8:44 left in the second half for chest-bumping Cal’s Martin Smith, who had fouled Farmar on a jumper. The Bears pulled within 60-49 on Dominic McGuire’s dunk moments later, but UCLA answered with nine straight points, including five by Arron Afflalo, the third freshman starter in the Bruins’ promising young lineup.
Shipp—the younger brother of Joe Shipp, the former Cal star who led the Pac-10 in scoring in 2003—scored eight points in the second half as UCLA maintained a comfortable lead. Shipp fouled out with 3:43 left.
UCLA coach Ben Howland improved to 25-25 in his first 50 games at the school.