LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Reeves Nelson #22 of the UCLA Bruins controls the ball against the Loyola Marymount Lions at LA Sports Arena on November 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. LMU won 69-58. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

UCLA Vs. MTSU: Bruins Outclassed By Mid-Major Blue Raiders

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2011 Maui Invitational: Bruins Join Top Teams Under The Hawaiian Sun

The UCLA Bruins had themselves a serious let down game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in the opening round of the 2011 Maui Invitational this week, but now must turn their focus to the rest of the talented field in championship round ahead.

Before heading to Hawaii the regional round starts on Nov. 19 at Middle Tennessee State, with the four Mainland Teams playing in a two-day, four-game event. After that the Championship Round will take place in Maui beginning of Nov. 21 with Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Memphis, Michigan, Tennessee, UCLA and host Chaminade competing for the Wayne Duke Championship Trophy.

The ESPN networks will have complete live  coverage of all 12 Championship Round games, with coverage on ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPNU HD, with the ESPN and ESPN2 games also streaming live on ESPN3.com. ESPN Radio will be on-site to broadcast the semifinals and championship game as well. 

Complete bracket can be found here

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UCLA Vs. MTSU: Bruins Outclassed By Mid-Major Blue Raiders

The Bruins can take solace in the fact that they weren't alone. Arizona St. lost to Pepperdine earlier that night, and Stanford struggled with Colorado St. as the Pac 12 had a poor showing against mid-major teams. The loss will still sting as the UCLA Bruins were embarrassed, losing by 20 to the Middle Tenn. St. Blue Raiders

There's no upside to this game. The Bruins were completely outplayed in every facet of the game. UCLA allowed the Blue Raiders to shoot at a 71% clip which included 10-11 from behind the three point line. The Blue Raider shooters were continually allowed to take wide open shots and they continually knocked them down. 

UCLA on the other hand shot just 37% from the field, and 20% from behind the arc. UCLA had the more favorable assist to turnover ratio and were great on the offensive glass, but they just couldn't shoot tonight. MTSU ended up with 26 defensive rebounds and 40 points in the paint. UCLA looked confused on offense, and were ultimately outmatched in the paint. 

Joshua Smith was the Bruin's leading scorer with 15 points, only one other Bruin reached double digits. MTSU on the other hand had five players in double digit scoring. UCLA made no move to close the gap in the second half, as the game was out of their grasp before halftime. 

LaRon Dendy ended up with a double double for Mid. Tennessee St. with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Smith was one rebound short of a double double. Bruce Masey had 12 second half points as the Blue Raiders pulled away from the Bruins. Joshua Smith had just four points in the second half. 

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