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November 12, 2011

Bruins spanked in opener

LOS ANGELES (AP) Ashley Hamilton scored 23 points, Anthony Ireland added 21 and Loyola Marymount knocked off No. 17 UCLA 69-58 on Friday night in the teams' season opener, the Bruins' first game in their temporary home at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

Reeves Nelson and David Wear scored 13 points each for the Bruins, who were in the preseason rankings for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

The Lions led by one point at halftime and controlled most of the second half, building their first double-digit lead, 53-42, on two free throws by Hamilton that capped a 12-0 run.

Playing not far from their westside campus, the Lions enjoyed good crowd support, with their fans chanting ``LMU! LMU!'' in the final minutes. They snapped a 12-game losing skid to the Bruins and beat them for the first time since the 1941-42 season.

UCLA fans, meanwhile, began leaving the aging building with five minutes to play and their team down by five. The Bruins never led in the second half, managing one tie early on. It was the school's first loss playing as the home team at the Sports Arena since the 1961-62 season, when John Wooden was coaching the Bruins.

The Lions hit 10 of 15 3-pointers, with Ireland and C.J. Blackwell making three apiece. UCLA made just 2 of 15 from long-range.

Hamilton hit consecutive 3-pointers to put the Bruins down by 10 with 3:41 remaining. UCLA was limited to one field goal in the final 5:47.

The Lions opened on a 26-18 run, hitting four 3-pointers during the stretch in which they twice led by eight.

The Bruins regrouped to end the half with a 15-6 spurt, including 10 straight points that left them trailing 34-33. Travis Wear had seven points in the run.

The Bruins played without backup guard Jerime Anderson, who served the second and final game of his suspension for stealing a lapup on campus last summer. He sat on the bench in a suit and tie.

It was UCLA's first game in the Sports Arena since 2006, when they were the visiting team against rival Southern California, which played in the building before moving to a new campus arena nearby. The lower bowl seats are still red, a remnant of USC's tenancy, although they were topped by white UCLA covers.

UCLA imported its record 11 national championship banners to the rafters and a fresh coat of Bruin blue paint lent a familiar touch. The school pitched in with the Sports Arena to purchase a new digital scoreboard. The court was borrowed from the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks, so it was missing the designation Nell and John Wooden Court.



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