Howland Era Starts With Win

Times Staff Writer

The events of last season make this qualify as news: UCLA won its first exhibition Wednesday.

After losing two exhibitions last season on the way to a 10-19 finish, UCLA started with a victory under new Coach Ben Howland, defeating an EA Sports West team, 74-67, in front of 5,089 at Pauley Pavilion.

There wasn't a lot to remind anyone of the Bruins' past glory except when Ed O'Bannon was introduced as an EA Sports starter.

The Bruins shot 21.7% from the free-throw line, making five of 23, and shot better from three-point range, making seven of 22 (31.8%).

"The foul shooting was atrocious," Howland said. "That's my responsibility. We haven't emphasized it in practice because there were so many other things. We will be a good foul shooting team."

Freshman forward Trevor Ariza from Westchester High led UCLA with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Dijon Thompson, the leading returning scorer, had 16 points.

The Bruins were without forward T.J. Cummings, academically ineligible through at least the first three games. The key position battle is between centers Michael Fey and Ryan Hollins. Although Fey started, Hollins outscored him, 10-2.

For EA Sports West, former Bruin Matt Barnes scored 21 points and O'Bannon and Rico Hines each scored 11.

The Bruins' final exhibition is Tuesday against the Southern California All-Stars.

UCLA opens the season Nov. 29 against Vermont at Pauley Pavilion.

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