Dec. 23, 2005
Friday's Game - No. 12 Ben Howland's UCLA Bruins (9-1 overall/Pac-10 0-0) host Jerome Jenkins' Sacramento State Hornets (8-4 overall /Big Sky 0-0) at 7:30 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.
Sacramento State - The Hornets are off to their best start since 1988-89 and have won their last two games, four of their last five (losing at Boise State, 70-61, 12/11) and seven of their last nine (losing at Utah Valley State, 71-69OT, 12/3). In its last contest (12/20), Sacramento State hosted Cal Poly, winning 80-59, behind 6-2 freshman Loren Leath's 23 points (off the bench) and 6-4 senior Jason Harris' 16. On Nov. 19, the Hornets lost at Nevada 82-74 (on Dec. 10 at the Wooden Classic, UCLA defeated Nevada 67-56).
The Hornets have four players averaging in double figures, led by 5-11 senior DaShawn Freeman's 14.3 points and Harris' 13.7 ppg/5.6rpg. Blue Ribbon picks Sacramento State to finish second (behind Montana State) in the Big Sky and named Harris Conference Player of the Year (last year, in his first season at Sacramento State, transfer from Chaffey, CA JC, Harris was the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, averaging 17.5ppg and 4.6rpg). The Hornets return four starters from last year's team that was 12-16 overall and 8-6 (fourth-place) in the Big Sky. Jenkins is in his sixth season (59-93) as head coach at Sacramento State. This is the first meeting between the two schools.
UCLA'S LAST GAME
Dec. 21 - at No. 12 UCLA 74, Wagner 72 - before 7,738 in Pauley Pavilion, UCLA, in its last defensive stand, prevented Wagner from getting off a shot at the end of the game and preserved its 74-72 victory.
In the second half, Wagner had leads of as many as eight points (final time, 57-49, 10:32 left). With 1:27 remaining, Farmar gave the Bruins a one point lead (72-71) on a 12-foot jumper and with 1:09 left, Wagner's Durell Vinson tied the score at 72, connecting on the first of two free throws.
In the first half, the Bruins also trailed by as many as eight points (20-12, 10:24), but outscored Wagner 23-13 to end the first half and take a 35-33 halftime lead.
The Bruins had five players in double figures - led by Arron Afflalo's 13 points (11 in the second half/sixth time this season he's led UCLA in scoring); 12 points and nine assists from Farmar; a season-high 12 points and five assists from Darren Collison, 11 points from Cedric Bozeman and a career-high 11 points from Lorenzo Mata (who the day before missed practice with the flu). For the 10th straight game, Mbah a Moute led the Bruins in rebounding (game-high seven/longest UCLA streak since 1977-78, when David Greenwood led UCLA in rebounding in the final 13 regular season games).
UCLA shot .525(32-61, in three of the last four games, the Bruins have shot over .522) from the field, a season-low .077 (1-13) from three-point range and a season-low .500 (9-18) from the foul line, with a game-high 32 rebounds (UCLA is 7-0 when outrebounding the opponent), 16 assists, a season-low nine turnovers, two blocked shots and three steals.
Wagner shot an opponent season-high .538 (28-52), an opponent season-high .625 (10-16) from three-point range and .857 (6-7) from the foul line, with 25 rebounds, 13 assists, a game-high 13 turnovers and one blocked shot and steal. The Hornets were led by Mark Porter's 19 points.
Ben Howland - In his third season at UCLA, with a school mark of 38-29 (.567). Last year, he led the Bruins back to the NCAA Tournament (for the first time since 2002) and became only the 28th coach in NCAA history to lead three schools to the NCAA Tournament -2005 UCLA, 2003 Pittsburgh ("Sweet 16"), 2002 Pittsburgh ("Sweet 16") and 1998 Northern Arizona. In his 12th year as a collegiate head coach (it's his 25th season in college basketball as an assistant and head coach), in 2002 Howland was the National Coach of the Year while at Pittsburgh, he is 206-128 (.617/UCLA's 56-37 win over Delaware State on Nov. 19 in Pauley was Howland's 200th career win). Howland is 6-2 vs. Sacramento State.
Best Start Since - UCLA's 9-1 start is its best under Howland (in his third season-last year, 6-1, lost next game at Michigan State/2004, 3-1, lost next game to UC Santa Barbara in Pauley) and its best overall since 1997-98 (9-1, lost next game at Arizona). The last time the Bruins started 10-1 was in 1995 - UCLA's 11th NCAA title team, started 12-1 (losing at Oregon on Jan. 5), then lost 14th game to California in Pauley (Jan. 28, 100-93, game was later forfeited by California) - UCLA would not lose another game, winning the NCAA Championship and finishing with a 32 (school record for wins)-1 overall mark.
UCLA Ranked No. 12 - This week, UCLA is No. 12 in both polls. The Bruins were ranked No. 14 (both polls) going into Michigan. Prior to facing Nevada in the Wooden Classic, UCLA was No. 16 (AP) and No. 18 (USA Today/ESPN). The week of Nov. 28, the Bruins were No. 16 (AP) and No. 17 (USA Today/ESPN). The week of the NIT Season Tip-Off Final Four in New York City, the Bruins were No. 16 in both polls (UCLA's highest ranking since the start of the 2002-03 season/No. 14). UCLA was preseason rated No. 19 by AP and tied for No. 18 by USA Today/ESPN (it was the Bruins' first preseason rating since 2002-03/No. 14).
Josh Shipp - Howland announced on Tuesday that Shipp, who on Sept. 28 had right hip surgery, is on schedule to play some minutes next week in UCLA's Pac-10 openers vs. Stanford and California.
Jordan Farmar - A preseason Wooden Award and Naismith candidate, Farmar is the Pac-10 assist leader (6.25) and No. 1 on the team in steals (1.4) and No. 2 in minutes (33.9) and points (16.1). Vs. Wagner, scored 12 points (5-14, 0-3, 2-2), with three rebounds, a game-high nine assists (including the game-winning assist to Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) and one steal in 32 minutes. In UCLA's win vs. Coppin State, he had his first career double-double (16 points/career-high 10 assists). In the NIT Season Tip-Off semis at New York City, Farmar shook off the affects of a sprained right ankle (suffered at the end of the Temple game/missing the Delaware State contest) and vs. Memphis State, responded with a career-high 28 points (9-20, 4 (career-high tying)-9 (career-high), 6-8), including 23 in the second half (Farmar's previous best was 27 vs. Arizona, 2/12/05).
Arron Afflalo - is UCLA's leading scorer (17.8), who is tops in minutes (35.6) and foul shooting (.811, 30-37) and No. 2 in rebounding (4.2). In this week's Pac-10 stats, he led the league in three-point FGs per game (3.0), second in minutes and third in scoring. He's led the Bruins in scoring six games this season - 13 (Wagner, including 11 in the second half/in 36 minutes, also had four rebounds), 20 (Coppin State), 22 (Albany), 18 (Drexel), 18 (Temple) and a career-high 23 (New Mexico State). He's the only Bruin to start every game and score in double figures in every game. His career three-point field goal percentage (.404, 67-166) is No. 7 in school history.
Cedric Bozeman - Has returned to the Bruins' starting lineup after missing all of last season with a right knee injury that required surgery. A starter in all 10 games at forward (he was UCLA's starting point guard in his first three years), Bozeman is UCLA's No. 3 scorer (11.0) and is shooting .547 (41-75, No. 3 on the team) from the field, a team-leading .455 (18-24) from three-point range and .750 (18-24) from the foul line, with a 4.2 rebound average (No. 2 on the team) and a 1.9 assist and 1.2 steals average. He's one of three players to start every game (with Arron Afflalo and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute). Snapped a string of two single digit scoring games, getting 11 points, four rebounds and an assist vs. Wagner, in season-best 35 minutes. In 10 games, Bozeman has played every position (except center) and guarded every position (except center).
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - A starter in all 10 games at forward, Mbah a Moute is UCLA's leading rebounder (8.7) and averaging 7.7 points. In this week's Pac-10 stats, he was No. 2 in rebounding and has led the Bruins in rebounding in all 10 games (the longest Bruin streak since 1977-78, when David Greenwood led UCLA in rebounding in the last 13 regular season games). In 28 minutes vs. Wagner, Mbah a Moute scored six points (including the game winning layup with 1:09 left/assist from Jordan Farmar), with a game-high seven rebounds, one assist and two blocked shots and steals.
Ryan Wright - In 11 minutes vs. Wagner (his third start in the last four games), Wright scored two points. His best game of the season was in UCLA's victory at Michigan - in 24 minutes off the bench, Wright had season-bests in points (eight) and rebounds (8) and helped with the interior defense that stymied Michigan standout center Courtney Sims. He's averaging 13.3 minutes, 2.5 points and 2.2 rebounds and leads the Bruins in FG% (.700, 7-10).
Off the Bench - Vs. Wagner- the Bruins used five players off the bench -
- Darren Collison - in 19 minutes, Collison scored a season-best 12 points, including six in the Bruins' come-from-behind rally late in the second half, with three rebounds, a season-high tying five assists and no turnovers. Collison, who has started two games, is UCLA's No. 5 scorer (6.0), No. 2 in FT% (.786, 11-14) and assists (2.9), with 12 assists (1.2) and averaging 19.0 minutes a contest.
- Lorenzo Mata - although suffering from the flu the day before, Mata came off the bench vs. Wagner, and in 15 minutes, scored a career-high 11 points (including nine in the first half/previous high was eight points-vs. Drexel this season and at USC last year). A starter in two games, he's averaging14.7 minutes, 3.8 points and 4.2 rebounds (No. 2 on the team) and is second in FG% (.563, 9-16).
- Ryan Hollins - in 14 minutes, Hollins scored seven second half points, with one rebound. UCLA's starting center in the Bruins' first five games, Hollins is averaging 16.7 minutes, 4.1 points and 2.7 rebounds.
- Michael Roll - played eight minutes, with two rebounds and one assist. He's appeared in nine games, averaging 12.8 minutes and 2.7 points.