Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Reeves Nelson scored a career-high 23 points and UCLA handed No. 16 BYU its first loss of the season, 86-79, in the John R. Wooden Classic. Tyler Honeycutt added 17 points and eight rebounds, while Josh Smith recorded 15 points and eight boards for the Bruins (6-4), who have won three straight since a four-game slide. "This was a great win for us against an outstanding BYU team," said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. "They were high in the RPI and were undefeated coming in. We had a good week of practice leading up to today's game. We really executed at both ends of the floor. We did a much better job of attacking the zone."
The win also gave UCLA a 12-11 edge in the all-time series between the two teams. Jimmer Fredette led all scorers with 25 points for BYU (10-1), which was coming off a dominating 87-65 performance over another Pac 10 team, Arizona, last Saturday. Brandon Davies chipped in with 18 points, while Jackson Emery netted 15 points.
"It was a very entertaining game and our guys played really hard," BYU head coach Dave Rose said. "I give a lot of credit to UCLA. They were physical, strong and played well. We didn't really have an answer for their size. I was really proud of how hard our team played. We played really hard and competed until the end. We needed to make a few more plays." UCLA took its biggest lead, 61-48, with an 18-11 run to open up the second half. Honeycutt finished the rally with a three-pointer.
The Cougars then went on a streak of their own by scoring 11 straight points to pull within two at the midway point of the second half. Emery ended the rally with a 3-for-3 performance from the free throw line. A game full of streaks continued with the Bruins' six-point spurt to take a 67-59 lead. During the next six minutes, the teams traded baskets and BYU was only able to cut the deficit to five with a minute and a half to play after a Fredette layup. Nelson answered with a dunk on the ensuing possession and a pair of free throws by the Bruins kept them ahead the remaining minute of the game.
BYU, behind eight points from Fredette, nearly tripled UCLA's score only five minutes into the game at 16-6. However, the Bruins answered back with an 18-2 run put them on top midway through the opening half. Honeycutt led the scoring barrage with six points, while Nelson made four straight free throws to cap it. Fredette had six straight points for the Cougars during the final 90 seconds of the half to cut UCLA's halftime lead to 43-27.
UCLA improved to 1-2 in neutral site games this season. The Bruins are also 10-4 all-time in the double-header event named after their late former coach...BYU trailed at the half for just the second time this season. The last time being in the South Padre Invitational against South Florida...Lazeric Jones made 5-of-7 from the field, including two threes, for 13 points in the win...The cougars shot 61 percent from the field during the first half and ended 53 percent in the game...Chris Collinsworth returned to action for BYU after missing six-straight games due to an ankle injury. He scored only four points but pulled down seven boards.
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