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December 23, 2007
UCLA gets W on the road
ANN ARBOR, Mich.(AP) John Beilein had a chance Saturday for his first signature win at Michigan.
The Wolverines just couldn't make enough shots to beat No. 8 UCLA.
The Bruins rallied from an eight-point deficit in the second half by outscoring Michigan 41-18 over the final 14 minutes of a 69-54 victory.
"That's the best 4-8 team in the country," Bruins coach Ben Howland said of Michigan. "They are going to be very good, especially in this building."
Beilein's offensive system is built around 3-pointers, but Michigan (4-8) only hit one of 13 from behind the arc in the second half. They shot 6-for-31 on threes (19.4 percent) for the game.
"We took about 30 3s and we had at least 25 great looks," Beilein said. "If we hit 30 percent of them, and we'll usually do that, it is a different game."
In the end, it was Michigan's poor shooting and the size of UCLA (11-1) that prevented the upset. The Bruins' starting post players - Kevin Love and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - combined for 29 points and 29 rebounds. UCLA finished with a 47-29 rebounding edge.
"We didn't do a good job of feeding the post - there were times that Kevin was wide open and we didn't get him the ball," Howland said. "But 29 points and 29 rebounds from our 4 and our 5? I'll take that every game."
UCLA also got a second-half boost from Josh Shipp. Shipp had four points in the first half on 2-of-5 shooting, but went 5-for-6 in the second half, including three 3-pointers.
"(Michigan) had a week to prepare for us, so we knew it was going to be tough," said Shipp, who finished with 19 points. "It's tough to score on them, and they hung in there really well.
"Luckily, I was able to get going and knock down some shots."
DeShawn Sims led Michigan with 12 points and Manny Harris added 11, but the Wolverines dropped to 0-3 against top 10 teams. They lost by 22 points at Georgetown on Nov. 15 and by 28 at Duke on Dec. 8.
"There are a lot of positives that we can take from this game, and I'm not one of those 'moral victory' guys," Beilein said. "The Georgetown game didn't build our confidence, but this one did. We know we won't shoot that badly very often."
The Bruins scored the game's first eight points, and looked ready to blow out the inexperienced Wolverines.
Michigan, though, answered with an 11-3 run to tie the score. Consecutive 3-pointers by Zack Gibson and Sims gave the Wolverines a 19-15 lead.
Another 3-pointer, this one by C.J. Lee, put Michigan ahead 27-24 at the half. The Wolverines forced 11 turnovers in the first half and only committed four.
"I think we saw signs today of what should become our trademarks," Beilein said. "A low number of turnovers and a lot of forced turnovers."
With Michigan up six early in the second half, Bruins point guard Darren Collison went to the bench with three fouls. On UCLA's next possession, Ekpe Udoh blocked two shots, the second setting up a fast-break basket by Harris that made it 36-28.
The Bruins, though, only needed five minutes to regain the lead. Shipp's 3-pointer started the rally, and UCLA took a 45-43 lead on his short jumper with 8:41 to go.
Another 3 by Shipp made it 53-43 with 6:30 to go. Shipp, Mbah a Moute and Lowe scored all of UCLA's points in the 18-3 run that let them take control.
Shipp drew loud boos from the Crisler Arena crowd when he performed a 360-degree fast-break dunk in the final minute.
"That's fine," Shipp said with a smile. "If I were a Michigan fan, I would have booed me too."