Originally created 12/24/06

No contest: Bruins outclass Wolverines



LOS ANGELES - Top-ranked UCLA's performance against highly regarded Michigan was so dominant, it left Bruins coach Ben Howland full of superlatives.

Fact is, he couldn't have found anything negative even if he tried.

Josh Shipp scored 18 points, Arron Afflalo added 17, and UCLA overpowered the previously once-beaten Wolverines 92-55 on Saturday.

"We just played our best game," Howland said. "Our guys were fired up for this game. Michigan played us extremely tough the last three years."

Michigan beat UCLA 70-66 in December 2003, but the Bruins topped the Wolverines 81-79 two years ago and 68-61 last season.

"The game was pretty close last year," Afflalo said. "Coming into this game, that was expected."

The Bruins made sure it wasn't.

"I think we were really good today. I think we could have beaten most teams in the country," Howland said. "I love the unselfishness of our team. Our quickness was really evident. These guys are just tremendous - it's a lot of fun to be coaching them."

Darren Collison added 15 points and eight assists and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 13 points and a career-high seven steals for the Bruins (11-0), who were in command from the opening tip.

"We didn't play as capably as I thought we could," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. "I think we were a little nervous. Our older guys were trying to make things happen, and I felt we were pressing a little bit.

"The main thing is, you have to take care of the ball on the road."

The Wolverines didn't, committing 15 of their season-high 23 turnovers in the first half while falling behind 36-23.

Courtney Sims led Michigan with 13 points, but 11 came after the outcome was decided. Lester Abram added 11 points for Michigan, which lost by 37 despite shooting 46 percent (23-of-50).

"Our defense is really good," Afflalo said. "Each possession is very personal to us. There was a lot of energy in the building. That's tough to play through. We didn't let up, that was the key. I think in their environment, they might have bounced back."

The Bruins, who had struggled at times against several outmanned opponents, are off to their best start since the 1993-94 season, when they won their first 14 games.

Michigan (11-2) is off to its best start in 14 years, but the Wolverines were playing just their third road game. And they have beaten only two teams - Davidson and Harvard - with winning records.

UCLA shot 33 of 56, including 11-of-20 from 3-point range.