UCLA routs Prairie View
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Darren Collison began his senior season on a solid note, plugging in a team-high 19 points to go with four assists in fourth-ranked UCLA's 82-58 drubbing of the Prairie View Panthers in opening round action of the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
UCLA takes on Miami-Ohio in the second round of the tournament on Thursday. The RedHawks topped Weber State, 70-66, in the prelude to the Bruins showcase.
The winner of the regional advances to the championship rounds to be held November 20-21 in New York's Madison Square Garden.
Malcolm Lee contributed 12 points and six rebounds in his first game as a Bruin and Jrue Holiday added 11 points in a balanced offensive attack for UCLA (1-0), which is coming off another Pac-10 title and its third consecutive appearance in the Final Four.
Prairie View (0-1) showed some fight thanks to the emergence of Darnell Hugee, who scored a game-high 22 points and didn't back down from the perennial national championship contender. Michael Griffin finished with 13 points for the Panthers, who won just eight games last season.
The Panthers actually led 10-9 on Hugee's layup with six minutes gone in the first half. But Josh Shipp's three-pointer on the ensuing possession started an 11-0 run, and another 10 straight points from the Bruins helped the hosts take a 38-19 lead into the locker room.
Two three-balls from Holiday and another from Collison in the early going of the second half pushed the lead to 55-30.
The Panthers fought back admirably with a 13-4 spurt later in the stanza and Griffin's make from behind the arc made it a 14-point game with just under five minutes left in the game.
That was as close as Prairie View got, however, as Collison and company had their way on the inside and on the fast break to seal the win.
It was the first-ever meeting between the programs...The Panthers have gone five seasons without playing in the Southwest Athletic Conference Tournament...UCLA owned a 42-22 edge on the boards...Both teams were sloppy with the ball, as the Bruins committed 24 turnovers compared to 27 for the Panthers.
11/13 00:46:04 ET