The UCLA Bruins were ready and had prepared for this time the beginning of the season, the start of Pac-12 play against one of the best back courts in the conference in Cal's Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe. However the Bruins had their own blue chip stars in Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad who lead this team to step up defensively.
UCLA started off a little sluggish as Cal opened up the game aggressively with a 6-0 lead as Allen Crabbe came out aggressive slicing the defense early and scored the first four points for Cal.
Norman Powell gave UCLA their first lead over Cal with a big three pointer.
Shabazz Muhammad and Travis Wear also contributed with big three pointers in an attempt to extend their lead. However Cal's Justin Cobbs tied the game at 21 with a nice uncontested jumper. UCLA led by Wear and Powell who had five points each went on 17-7 run and took a 38-28 lead into halftime. Powell held the Pac-12 leading scorer Allen Crabbe to five points in the first half.
UCLA never trailed in the second half and even extended their lead to 16 points. Cal competed a lot better playing more aggressive and poised after going on two 6-0 runs capped off by a Crabbe lay up that brought the Golden Bears within four points at 61-57. Cal rode the back of Crabbe who's stellar play brought Cal back within four with about six minutes left.
The Bruin would have to rely on their man to man defense to obtain this victory, along with going 11 of 14 at the free throw line with Anderson connecting on nine of those. That Bruin defense held Cal to 39 percent shooting and 0/11 on three pointer in the game.
Muhammad overcame his sluggish start as he finished with 16 points and played outstanding defense. He rebounded the ball much better thanks in part to UCLA coach Ben Howland who called him out earlier in the week regarding his rebounding and presence on the court.
"I've been really practicing my defense. People think I can't. I can play defense, I know I can. That was the one thing that was a hole in my game. That's why I came here, to improve my defense, and it really shows."
Kyle Anderson finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Travis Wear finished with 15 points to capture the victory for UCLA and snap a three game losing streak against Cal that dates back to 2010-2011 season.
Cal's Allen Crabbe finished with 21 points and acquired 16 points in the second half. He played all but one minute of the entire game on 10 for 21 shooting. Justin Cobbs who finished with 12 points. Cal big man Richard Solomon finished with 11 points and tied his career high of 10 rebounds.
Crabbe spoke about the teams performance, "We seemed like we were kind of nervous about this game. They made shots and they capitalized on our mistakes. UCLA just did a good job defensively."
Crabbe on his own performance, "Coaches are expecting me to play big minutes in a game like this, so I just have to push through it. I got to the basket for the second time in the first half and then I stopped doing it. I've got to be aggressive for all 40 minutes."
UCLA will take on the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday and look to go 2-0 in the Pac-12 conference.