Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The 13th-ranked UCLA Bruins open regional
action of the Legends Classic, as they welcome instate rival UC Irvine to the
Ben Howland and the Bruins were dealt a last-second blow prior to their
season-opener against Indiana State, as highly touted recruit Shabbaz Muhammad
was ruled ineligible less than 90 minutes before the season started against
the Sycamores. It didn't seem to affect UCLA in the game, as the Bruins made
light work of Indiana State in an 86-59 rout, the first athletic contest in
the New Pauley Pavilion since 2011.
Russell Turner's Anteaters also opened their 2012-13 season with a victory,
posting a 78-64 win at home against the Nevada Wolf Pack. UC Irvine returns
all five starters from last year and the hope is that a now seasoned group can
significantly improve on last season's 12-20 record.
UCLA holds a 7-2 advantage in the all-time series. The Bruins won a lopsided
affair last season at the Los Angeles Sports Arena, 89-60.
The Anteaters took advantage of a cold-shooting Nevada club in the second half
(.250) and cruised to a 14-point win at home. Senior guard Daman Starring had
a huge performance in the opener, scoring a career-high 25 points, thanks to
7-of-15 shooting from the floor and a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw
line. The team got a strong performance by senior forward Michael Wilder, who
notched his sixth career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. True
freshman guard Alex Young made a great first impression with 12 points, in 21
minutes off the bench.
The Bruins were tabbed second in the preseason Pac-12 polls, but that was with
the arrival of Muhammad on campus. The Bruins proved that they are still a
dangerous squad even without their heralded recruit, as they shot .482 from
the field against Indiana State in the opener, including a blistering .533 in
the second half to run away with the game. Jordan Adams came off the bench to
lead all scorers with 21 points. The freshman guard scored the most points in
a UCLA season-opener since 2007 (Kevin Love - 22 pts). Travis Wear poured in
17 points in support, while both David Wear (13 points and 10 rebounds) and
freshman Kyle Anderson (10 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles. UCLA
owned the glass, outrebounding the Sycamores, 52-33, while forcing 15
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