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UCLA powers past the past in 83-60 victory over Weber State

SportsUCLABasketballUCLA BruinsKyle AndersonMadison Square GardenOregon Ducks

It's not easy to recover from a basketball beating. On the playground, in the park, at Madison Square Garden.

When UCLA trailed Weber State by five points early in Sunday's game at Pauley Pavilion, it appeared the Bruins had not recovered from their second-half meltdown against Duke in New York.

But then UCLA went on a 15-2 run and continued to pour it on in an 83-60 victory.

There were mostly positives for the Bruins to take from the game.

UCLA sophomore Kyle Anderson came close to recording a triple-double but settled for a career-high 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Sophomore center Tony Parker appeared to find his aggressiveness on offense and finished with 15 points and five rebounds.

And, most important, it appeared the Bruins (10-2) escaped feeling sorry for themselves after the Duke game.

"We made strides defensively, especially in the second half," Coach Steve Alford said of the Bruins' 39-26 edge over Weber State (2-5) after intermission. "We really concentrated on that in practice the last couple of games."

Anderson said it was a team effort to move on after the loss to Duke, and he took pride in being part of that.

"I'm most happy with 10 rebounds," he said. "And getting the win. I think I did everything I was supposed to do."

At one point, with Weber State leading, 16-11, Anderson made a three-pointer that appeared to inspire his teammates to step up their games.

"My team looks to me in that situation," Anderson said.

UCLA freshman guard Bryce Alford tied his career high with six assists and scored 10 points, but he was more happy with how his team played in the second half.

"We've been getting beat in the second 20 minutes," Bryce Alford said. "Missouri, Duke, they beat us in the second half. Even Prairie View beat us in the second half. It was something that we concentrated a lot on in the last couple of days, playing hard a full 40 minutes."

Weber State freshman guard Richaud Gittens had a career-high with 15 points.

Weber State Coach Randy Rahe said the Bruins were just too quick offensively and that they appeared to be channeling some anger about their last loss.

"We played an outstanding team that was coming off a loss and they were on their home court," Rahe said. "I thought they really cranked it up a notch on us today. They're going to score a lot of points this year."

UCLA has averaged 86.7 points a game, second only to Oregon (90.3) among Pac-12 teams.

Coach Alford is looking ahead to the conference season.

"We have 40 more minutes to get better, especially defensively," Alford said, referring to a game against Alabama on Saturday. "Then it's into the conference and that's what counts."

Alford said he thought the Bruins made strides defensively: "I think it's the best second half on defense we've had."

"After the Duke game, I challenged this team," he said. "I wanted to know they hurt and that they really hurt after the second half. Until you can understand losing, you can't understand winning.

"In practice, I said, 'Let's play all 40 minutes tonight…. And, overall, I think we played a good 40 minutes."

diane.pucin@latimes.com

Twitter.com: @mepucin

Up next

Saturday vs. Alabama, 7 p.m., Pauley Pavilion; TV: FoxSports 1; Radio: 570 — Alabama senior Trevor Releford had his 10th straight double-figure scoring game with 17 points in a 77-74 loss to Xavier on Saturday. Releford leads Alabama with a 17.0 scoring average. Alabama is holding opponents to 27% in three-point shooting. UCLA sophomore Jordan Adams has either led or tied for the lead in scoring for the Bruins in 10 of 11 games before Sunday and has scored double figures in UCLA's first 11 games this season.

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