CORVALLIS, Ore. “”mdash; Jerime Anderson found himself on the court Saturday during an important stretch of the game.

The sophomore guard who had not played in two weeks was on the floor, doubtful about the game’s outcome.

The guy who had been nursing a hip injury was suddenly playing meaningful minutes. It was all in an effort by coach Ben Howland to cut the other guards’ playing times.

Sophomore Malcolm Lee sure didn’t mind.

“Another guard, another ball-handler,” Lee said when asked what Anderson brought to UCLA’s 62-52 victory over Oregon State at Gill Coliseum. “I remember coming out four of five different times. We missed him a lot. We were already short on guards, so we need all the guards we can get.”

Anderson played 16 minutes and scored three points ““ all at the free-throw line.

“It obviously helped to have Jerime,” Howland said. “Those 16 minutes were huge. Those are 16 minutes we didn’t have on Thursday night.”

Anderson added three assists and two steals, the second coming at a crucial moment.

With just more than two minutes remaining, Anderson stripped the ball from an OSU player and sent an outlet pass to Lee for an uncontested dunk that put UCLA up 12.

“I was just really happy,” Anderson said. “I thank God that I was able to get back healthy.”

Anderson last played on Jan. 16 in UCLA’s 21-point home loss to USC.

Any doubts regarding Anderson’s physical limitations were answered about an hour before the game began.

During warm-ups, Anderson felt comfortable enough to attempt a one-handed dunk from about 5 feet away.

About 10 minutes later, he went up for an acrobatic, 360-degree reverse lay-in over senior forward Nikola Dragovic’s outstretched arms.

“My athletic trainer has been helping me out a lot,” Anderson said. “My legs weren’t all the way under me, for sure. But it was definitely good to get out there.”

Redshirt junior guard Mustafa Abdul-Hamid got out there first, as the first backcourt guy off the bench.

Anderson finally took the floor with just more than 13 minutes remaining in the first half but didn’t contribute until his second stint, when he drove hard to the bucket and was fouled. He converted on both free throws.

“I didn’t want to press the issue very much,” Anderson said. “I think I played within myself and just tried to help my team.”

Keefe earns another start

James Keefe didn’t feel well before Saturday’s game, but the senior forward took the floor anyway.

Keefe continued to be a staple in UCLA’s starting lineup over the weekend, despite only playing 12 minutes Saturday and 16 minutes Thursday against Oregon. He scored just two points in each of the Bruins’ games.

Both Keefe and freshman forward Reeves Nelson had started 10 games each before Saturday, but Howland said he will continue to go with the older player in hopes that he can spark the defense early.

“He showed a lot of toughness just to get out there and help his team,” Howland said.

Harnessing Haynes

UCLA knew Oregon State’s Calvin Haynes could shoot. After all, the junior guard from nearby Reseda had scored 25 points in the Beavers’ comeback victory over USC just two days before.

“We were well aware of where Calvin was on the floor,” Lee said. “We knew he was going to put shots up, we just wanted to make it difficult for him.”

Haynes struggled mightily, shooting an anemic 5-for-20 from the field. He was 3-for-12 from 3-point range.

“We did a great job on him,” Howland said. “Two of his makes were there on desperation threes late in the game.”

Dribblers

The game began with not one, but two jump balls following an odd sequence in the opening seconds.

Keefe batted the first jump ball to UCLA’s back court, but Lee failed to pick up the ball cleanly and a held ball was called.

The possession arrow had not yet been established, resulting in another jump ball. Oregon State won the latter.

Both coaching staffs wore sneakers in support of the nationwide Coaches versus Cancer campaign promoted by the American Cancer Society.