UCLA Beats Montana State For Fourth Straight Win

UCLA has won four straight games.

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UCLA Vs. Montana St: Bruins Win Fourth Straight, 75-59

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Malcolm Lee tallied a team-best 18 points as he helped lead the UCLA Bruins to a 75-59 win over the Montana State Bobcats in non-conference play at Pauley Pavilion. Also scoring in double figures for the Bruins (7-4) was Reeves Nelson with 15 points, while Joshua Smith contributed with nine points and nine rebounds in the team's fourth straight victory. The Bobcats (6-6) were paced by Erik Rush with 13 points and Tre Johnson 12 as the squad fell to 0-6 on the road so far this season.

UCLA ran out to an 8-0 lead in the first half and despite hitting just 1-of-6 behind the three-point line, was able to put up a 36-29 lead at the break. Montana State made things interesting coming out of the break, putting together a 10-2 run to capture their first lead of the night, but a 12-0 run for the hosts put the contest out of reach. MSU shot a mere 35.4 percent from the field on the night, with Rush and Bobby Howard combining to make just 8-of-29 from the floor. The Bruins survived with just 2-of-13 shooting beyond the arc.

For more information on UCLA basketball, check out SBN's Bruins Nation.

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UCLA Vs. Montana State: Bruins Aim For Fourth Straight Win

The last time a team from the Big Sky conference visited Pauley Pavillion, the end result wasn't particularly comforting for Ben Howland's UCLA team. On Dec. 5, the Bruins welcomed the Montana Grizzlies to Westwood, who subsequently bested their host in a nine-point victory. "I don't think it will ever happen again," sophomore forward Reeves Nelson told Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times.

The Bruins are hoping history doesn't repeat itself Tuesday, as Montana State travels west to face off against a UCLA team that has amassed three consecutive victories. Conversely, Montana State has been on a down spin, losers of four of its last five, with the only win in that span coming against Johnson and Wales - an NAIA school. Yet, despite recent struggles, the Bobcats feature a zone defense, which has given the Bruins troubles thus far in 2010, notably against Montana. 

But if Saturday's 86-79 over No. 18 Brigham Young is any indication, the Bruins are playing much better as of late. Despite trailing early in the contest 16-6, the young bunch managed to crawl back behind a career-high 23 points from Reeves Nelson, who was named Pac-10 Player of the Week as a result. 

"I liked how aggressive he was," Howland told Peter Yoon of ESPNLosAngeles.com. "He scored in a lot of different ways. He attacked the basket when we needed, he hit a really nice jump shot against the zone. He's just going to keep getting better and better. It was really gratifying to see him rewarded for his hard work."

For more information on UCLA basketball, check out SBN's Bruins Nation.

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