Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Powell giving Bruins what Howland wants

Norman Powell #4 of the UCLA Bruins attempts to keep the ball in bound in front of Rocky Brown #2 of the Eastern Washington Eagles during the first half at LA Sports Arena on December 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (December 13, 2011 - Photo by Harry How/Getty Images North America via

Powell giving Bruins what Howland wants

Published: Dec. 20, 2011 Updated: 10:54 p.m.

LOS ANGELES – UCLA freshman guard Norman Powell is finally starting to live up to his advance billing.

"This is what we expected from him," Bruins coach Ben Howland said.

This would be a game- and career-high 19-point performance for Powell in an 89-60 romp over UC Irvine in front of 4,090 at the Sports Arena on Tuesday.

Powell connected on 4-of-6 3-point attempts, pulled down seven rebounds and added three assists, two blocked shots and a pair of steals.

"Norman really had a good game," Howland said. "He only had 12 rebounds in the his first nine games and now he's had 17 in his last two. That shows improvement. Norman is getting better and better. This is what we expected from him with more opportunities. He still makes freshman mistakes, but he's improving. We need him."

Powell's slow start was in large part to a knee injury, but he was also hospitalized when he suffered an allergic reaction during a recent practice that required him to be hospitalized.

With the knee improving, Howland said Powell can turn his game up even further.

"Sense of urgency," Howland said. "That's what I want his mantra to be."

Early burst

UCI jumped out to a 4-0 lead and continued to lead, 12-10, with 11:34 left in the first half before the Bruins ripped the game open with a 30-11 run.

"We started off pretty strong," Anteaters guard Chris McNealy said. "Midway through the first half, we felt like we were in this game, but near the end (of the half) we let up a little bit. We gave up too many transition points and we have to talk to each other on defense."

McNealy led UCI with 11 points, Starring added 10.


Bruins center Anthony Stover suffered an eye injury in the first half and was not allowed to return to play by the UCLA medical staff.

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