New-look UCLA uses fast pace to beat Cal­i­for­nia

The Modesto Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY BETH HAR­RIS

Two-a-day prac­tices dur­ing hol­i­day break. An em­pha­sis on team unity. It’s a dif­fer­ent time at UCLA these days.

Nowhere is that more ev­i­dent than in the Bru­ins’ re­sults.

Kris Wilkes scored 18 points, and UCLA pulled away in the sec­ond half to beat Cal­i­for­nia 98-83 on Satur­day, giving the Bru­ins a sweep on the open­ing weekend of Pac-12 play.

“We’re all great play­ers. You know when you hit ad­ver­sity you need to find a way to get out of it,” said re­serve Jules Bernard, one of six Bru­ins in dou­ble fig­ures with 12 points. “I don’t think we were work­ing as hard as we pos­si­bly could ear­lier.”

They are now un­der in­terim coach Murry Bar­tow, who re­placed Steve Al­ford af­ter he was fired Mon­day amid a four-game skid. Bar­tow has had the play­ers prac­tic­ing twice daily and lift­ing weights dur­ing their break from classes.

“It all starts in prac­tice. We’re all happy for each other. We’re like brothers,” said Moses Brown, who had 16 points and nine re­bounds. “We all want the best for each other.”

Chris Smith had 15 points, and re­serve David Sin­gle­ton had a sec­ond straight ca­reer high with 14 points for the Bru­ins.

Bar­tow has the Bru­ins play­ing a fast-paced style that is draw­ing cheers in­stead of boos in­side Pauley Pavil­ion. Their points were the most the team has scored this sea­son.

“This pace sort of fits our play­ing style a lit­tle more,” Bernard said. “We’re ac­tive scor­ers and like to get the ball out and run.”

UCLA (9-6, 2-0 Pac-12) used a 12-2 run to go up 72-58, with Brown and Smith com­bin­ing to score 10 of the 12 points.

Cal (5-9, 0-2) got within four early in the sec­ond half, but the Golden Bears were never any closer. They haven’t won at UCLA since Feb. 11, 2012, a span of six straight losses.


UCLA guard Kris Wilkes, right, blocks a shot from Cal­i­for­nia for­ward An­dre Kelly Satur­day in Los An­ge­les.

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