A winter staple in Southern California is the John R. Wooden Classic hosted by UCLA. The Classic couldn't have come at worse time for Bruins coach Ben Howland. Howland is under immense scrutiny as his program continues to crumble from within. After a tumultuous week, the Bruins took to the court on Saturday night against No. 23 San Diego State. In front of a raucous pro-SDSU crowd, UCLA kept pace with the Aztecs but could never pull ahead, losing 78-69.
Steve Fisher took over the mens basketball program for SDSU in 1999. Since then, Fisher has built the Aztecs' program into a top 25 contender. His team is lead by junior Jamaal Franklin. Against UCLA, Franklin scored a team-high 28 points and eight rebounds. Xavier Thames topped the Aztecs in three point shooting, going 5-6 from the arc and added four assists for good measure. After dropping their first game of the season to Syracuse, SDSU has won five straight, bringing their record to 5-1.
UCLA came into the season with the top recruiting class, lead by Shabazz Muhammad. After sitting out the first game of the season, the highly-touted freshman has had time to adjust to the pace of the college game. Against the Aztecs, he had 16 points and four rebounds. Jordan Adams lead the Bruins with 23 points. After spending three years with North Carolina, Larry Drew II sat out last season in order to transfer to UCLA. Having played in all eight of UCLA's game, Drew posted his third highest assist total of the season with 11.
SDSU's next game is on Dec. 3 against Texas Southern. UCLA has seven days off to regroup before facing Texas on Dec. 8.