No. 16 UCLA Rallies Past Coppin State, 69-57

Dec. 4, 2005

Final Stats

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fortunately for UCLA, college basketball is played in two halves. The Bruins needed the last 20 minutes to make up for another uninspired start.

Arron Afflalo scored 20 points and keyed a second-half rally with Cedric Bozeman that helped the 16th-ranked Bruins beat Coppin State 69-57 Sunday.

The Bruins (6-1) won their fifth straight at Pauley Pavilion, but needed another comeback to put away an inferior opponent. Last Tuesday, they blew all of a 19-point lead and trailed by one before closing out Albany 73-65.

"We're definitely concerned because we play much better teams (in the future)," Afflalo said. "It's always tough when you know a team is 0-5. You just got to come out and play hard. We picked it up a little bit in the second half."

The Eagles remained winless, falling to 0-6 for the first time since starting the 1999-2000 season. They are playing their first 14 games on the road, including a brutal December filled with stops at No. 5 Oklahoma, No. 12 Illinois, Pittsburgh, Michigan and No. 13 Michigan State.

"They have to play games on the road to raise money for their budget," UCLA coach Ben Howland said.

Tywain McKee led Coppin State with a career-high 21 points and Augustine Woodlin added 12.

"We know we're small and young and they have the name and we don't, but we played extra hard. We were in it in the first half," McKee said. "We just have too many young players, but we're learning."

Trailing by three, the Bruins ran off seven straight points to take their first lead, 42-38, since early in the first half. Bozeman had four points and Afflalo added two free throws as UCLA went ahead for good.

"We lost our composure," Coppin State coach Ron Mitchell said. "We gave them a lot of easy baskets to start the second half. You can't do that if you want to win at a place like this."

Coppin State wasted five of its next six possessions on turnovers, while the Bruins put together a 25-10 spree that extended their lead to 60-48 with 4:23 remaining. Afflalo had six points in a row and Bozeman followed with a three-point play during one stretch.

UCLA point guard Jordan Farmar returned to the lineup with 16 points and a career-high 10 assists after missing Tuesday's game because of a sprained right ankle.

"I tweaked it one time, but the pain went away," Farmar said.

Bozeman added 15 points and freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Helped by 60 percent field-goal shooting, the Eagles went on a 20-11 run, sparked by McKee's nine points and Woodlin's seven, to take their largest lead, 33-24. Farmar scored UCLA's final eight points of the half, when the Bruins trailed 35-30.

"They slowed it down and won the first half," Howland said. "They almost try to lull you to sleep by passing, passing, passing. It is difficult to prepare for that. You have to be ready to play long periods of defense. The second half we did a better job defensively."

UCLA played without backup centers Lorenzo Mata and Michael Fey. Mata sustained a concussion in practice Thursday, when Fey sprained his right ankle.

Howland said he expects Mata to resume practicing Tuesday, while Fey may be out until the weekend, when the Bruins play No. 20 Nevada in the John R. Wooden Classic in Anaheim.

Freshman Ryan Wright had the most rebounds in practice, so he earned a start at center in place of Ryan Hollins, who had started the first five games. Wright had no points and one rebound in 7 minutes, and disappeared in the second half when Hollins' experience was needed.

UCLA freshman Alfred Aboya of Cameroon made his season debut after having surgeries on both knees in the preseason.

"I was just happy to be there after two surgeries and three months of rehabbing," he said. "It was an emotional game, my first one in college."

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