Nov. 30, 2005
LOS ANGELES (AP) - UCLA got a double dose of good news.
First, the 16th-ranked Bruins regrouped for a 73-65 victory over Albany, N.Y., after blowing a 19-point lead Tuesday night. Then, they learned starting point guard Jordan Farmar's injury isn't as serious as first thought.
Farmar missed the game after being diagnosed with a sprained right ankle. Initially, the school said he had a stress fracture.
"There was some confusion," coach Ben Howland said. "He does not have a stress fracture. It's not a sprain that should keep him out much longer."
Farmar sprained his ankle against Temple on Nov. 17, missed a game, then played both games in the Preseason NIT in New York last week. He wore a walking boot and limped Tuesday night.
"It's relief," he said. "I probably won't practice the next couple of days. I'm not really sure when I can play again. I don't want to come back early and have it last all year."
Arron Afflalo scored 22 points and Cedric Bozeman added 16 points and a steadying presence at point guard for the Bruins (5-1), who fell behind by one early in the second half after leading by 19 in the first.
"It was immaturity," Afflalo said. "Sometimes we just lose our focus. We can't have lapses like that if we want to be an elite team."
Freshman Darren Collison started in Farmar's place, but committed five turnovers. He hit a 3-pointer with the Bruins clinging to a five-point lead with 2 minutes left and finished with 10 points.
"I got a lot more comfortable in the second half," he said. "I'm glad we came together as a team and pulled it out."
UCLA freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had career highs of 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Jon Iati led Albany (1-4) with 23 points, including a career-high six 3-pointers. Jamar Wilson added 12 points.
"I've always been a good shooter," Iati said. "I just don't get the national exposure that they get here. I really liked these rims. It felt good shooting out there."
Afflalo shook his head when he recalled some of Iati's 3-pointers.
"A lot of those were broken plays," he said. "(Lorenzo) Mata blocked his shot and it fell right to him and he made a 3."
The Great Danes used a 27-7 run spanning the end of the first half and start of the second to take a 44-43 lead, their first since the start of the game.
Iati opened the half with his fourth 3-pointer, then 7-foot-1 Kirsten Zoellner scored six points and Wilson added a basket.
"This team has been putting a lot of pressure on itself," Albany coach Will Brown said. "We had our worst game in San Diego (an 80-53 loss). Then we got down early here and I challenged them. The kids really buckled down. We actually had a chance to win this game."
UCLA regained control with a 14-5 run, including a basket and 3-pointer by Afflalo, who missed his career high by one point. Bozeman hit a 3-pointer during the spurt that gave the Bruins a 57-49 lead.
But the Great Danes closed within four on a basket by Jimmie Covington with 5:46 remaining. Collison answered with a 3-pointer, then Afflalo and Bozeman combined to make three of four free throws before Collison hit another 3 to send the Great Danes to their fourth straight loss.
Iati scored 13 of Albany's first 17 points, including nine in a row on 3-pointers.
"The guy had a quick release and he hit some big-time shots," Bozeman said.
After a slow start, the Bruins outscored the Great Danes 30-8 to take a 38-19 lead. Afflalo had 11 points, including 3s to open and close the spurt, and Bozeman added six.
Then the Bruins began misfiring and Albany ran off 14 consecutive points, including six by Levi Levine, to end the half trailing 38-33.