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Injuries out West

Most people spent the final minutes before the Tip-Off Marathon tipped off with Miami and Memphis watching UCLA outlast Pepperdine.

What you might have missed after you changed the channel was an injury to Bruin guard Malcolm Lee.

Lee sprained his ankle late in UCLA’s win. X-ray’s on the ankle came back negative, but Ben Howland said that Lee will be out for tonight’s game with Pacific because he couldn’t walk on it.

Losing Lee is huge for the Bruins. He is probably their most talented perimeter player. UCLA doesn’t have a ton of scoring options in general, and losing one of their most dynamic players will definitely be a blow to the Bruin’s against Pacific, a team that has been playing a lot of zone early in the season.

Keep in mind, this isn’t just a regular non-conference game either. The winner of tonight’s contest will be headed to NYC to compete in the finals of the Preseason NIT. A lot of people were already predicting an upset for the Tigers of the Big West.

Lee was the only important player from SoCal that was injured.

Alex Stephenson fractured his hand in USC’s game on Saturday night. He played last night against Santa Clara with a cast on his hand, scoring 6 points and grabbing 7 boards.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.