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Published September 17, 2015
Chattanooga coach Will Wade didn't like the way his Mocs played against No. 22 UCLA — and wasn't afraid to say so.
Martynas Bareika scored a season-high 17 points in a reserve role and Z. Mason had 15 points for the Mocs (2-4), who shot a season-low 35 percent in a 106-62 loss to the Bruins on Sunday night.
"It was an embarrassment to our program," Wade said. "We played scared. We played timid. Give UCLA credit, but we did not do what we needed to do."
Chattanooga entered the game averaging 49 percent from the field and shot 51 percent or better in three of its previous five games.
The Mocs went 1 for 11 to start the second half until Mason scored on a layup at 13:59. Leading-scorer Gee McGhee had five points and third-leading scorer Greg Pryor had five points. Zach LaVine's dunk gave UCLA its biggest lead at 82-35.
UCLA coach Steve Alford based his game plan on attacking the basket against a small Chattanooga lineup. His team responded with a stellar defense that allowed it to turn the game into a dunk contest.
Kyle Anderson, coming off the first UCLA triple double since 1995, had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the undefeated Bruins (5-0) in a regional game of the Las Vegas Invitational. UCLA plays its next two games in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving weekend.
Norman Powell had five of UCLA's 10 dunks as UCLA shot 62 percent from the field and scored more than 100 points for the first time since a 113-62 win against Wyoming on Dec.23, 2008.
Alford doesn't know if this scoring is sustainable, but he was pleased with his team on the second game in three nights and defending home court through five games.
"We're sharing the ball right now," Alford said. "We're shooting the ball well. The schedule constantly changes. As I told the team - we needed to get out of the gate quickly. We had five homes games to start the season. As you look at college basketball, there's already been teams that have lost home games. . We didn't fall into that trap. Our guys have done a good job. It's a new program, a new system."
UCLA opened the second half on a 20-2 run to stretch its lead to 41 points. Powell made four of his five dunks during the run, including a baseline drive and an alley-oop from Adams on consecutive possessions. The fourth was on windmill dunk to complete the run.
"I just wanted to finish it," Powell said. "The windmill came easy, but that's one of the main dunks I've been trying to do this whole year on a fast break, and I was just happy to get it this game."
Jordan Adams, coming off a career-high 30-point game, led UCLA with 15 points in the first half. He completed a three-point play to give the Bruins a 24-point lead and made a highlight block on McGhee before halftime.
Five of Powell's eight field goals were dunks. Freshman LaVine scored 10 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer and a breakaway one-handed dunk to finish a 14-2 run. Both recorded season highs in points.
Powell and Adams liked the offensive output but are proud of the overall improvement from the season opener.
"I think we've grown tremendously as a team, not only in our chemistry but in our defensive end," Powell said. "We're starting to help each other out, talk on defense, and that's what coach has been talking to us about. For us to go far with this season and continue what we're doing, it's going to be on the defensive end. We're really talented. We know we can put up points, but being a great team that you want to be we've got to get defensive stops."
UCLA took a 47-25 lead into the break.
Chattanooga missed 13 of its first 20 shots and shot 36 percent in the first half. It went 1 for 12 from 3-point range. Mason scored consecutive baskets inside and had 10 points at halftime but no other Mocs player had more than three points in the first half.
Chattanooga was coming off back-to-back last-minute losses but this was over early.
"They are a very talented team," Wade said of UCLA. "They space you out and really took it to us tonight."