Jan. 6, 2006
Saturday's Game- No. 17 Ben Howland's UCLA Bruins (12-2 overall/Pac-10 2-1, 2nd-place tie) play at Rob Evans' Arizona State Sun Devils (6-6 overall /Pac-10 0-3, 10th-place) at 1 p.m. PT/2 p.m.MT at the Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe.
Arizona State -on Thursday at the Wells Fargo Arena, ASU lost to USC 66-65, when the Trojans' Lodrick Stewart hit a three-pointer with 2.1 seconds left, giving USC the victory. The Sun Devils, up 34-31 at halftime, had four starters in double figures- led by 6-8 junior Serge Angounou's 19 points and seven rebounds. ASU has now dropped three in a row, including last week's opening Pac-10 games at the Washington schools. In Pac-10 statistics (Jan. 6), 6-7 junior Bryson Krueger is the league's No. 14 scorer (13.8) and 6-10 freshman forward Jeff Pendergraph, is the league's No. 12 rebounder (5.5). 6-2 junior point guard Kevin Kruger, son of UNLV head coach Lon Kruger, is No. 5 in the league in assists (4.08). Evans is in his eighth season at ASU and is 5-9 vs. UCLA, including a 3-4 mark in Tempe. Series History - UCLA leads it 50-14. The Bruins swept last season, beating ASU 86-82 in Tempe and 95-76 in Pauley Pavilion. ASU in 2004 (74-62OT) and 2003 (85-69) won both games in Tempe. From 1990 to 2000, the Bruins won 22 consecutive games vs. the Sun Devils.
UCLA'S LAST GAME
Jan. 5 - No. 17 UCLA 85, at No. 21 Arizona 79 - before 14,591 at McKale Center, UCLA connected on eight consecutive free throws in the final 1:23, sealing its 85-79 win at Arizona. The Bruin victory snapped Arizona's eight-year winning streak vs. UCLA in Tucson.
Leading 39-35 at halftime, the Bruins never trailed in the second half. UCLA opened the second half with a 5-0 run, to lead 44-35 (18:33, the Bruins' biggest lead of the game, nine points) on a dunk by Lorenzo Mata. In the next 10 minutes, UCLA would lead by eight points on seven occasions (last time, 63-55, 8:53, dunk by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute).
With 6:29 left to play, Arizona cut UCLA's lead to three points (66-63), on a dunk by Hassan Adams. The Bruins would again increase their lead to eight points, twice (final time, 73-65, 4:30 left, on two free throws by Mbah a Moute).
With 3:18 left, Arron Afflalo would give the Bruins two, seven point leads on two layups (75-68, 3:18; 77-70, 2:08).
In the final :34 seconds, Arizona would cut the Bruin lead to two points, twice (final time, 81-79, :21, jumper by Marcus Williams). But UCLA would seal the win, hitting eight straight free throws in the final 1:23, including four consecutive foul shots by Jordan Farmar, playing with a sprained right ankle, in a 19 second span.
The Bruins had three players in double figures - led by Afflalo's game-high 22 points (9(ties career-high)-12 from the field, including 3-6 from three-point range/he's led the Bruins in scoring the last five games) and Josh Shipp's season-best 14 points and six rebounds. Mata played well in the post for the Bruins, in 19 minutes getting nine points (3-4 from the field, 3-4 from the foul line) and seven rebounds. Mbah a Moute had a game-high nine rebounds (with eight points).
UCLA shot .608 from the field (31-51, including .680 in the first half), .429 (6-14) from three-point range and .708 (17-24) from the foul line, with a game-high 29 rebounds (the Bruins are 10-0 when outshooting and outrebounding the opponent), 14 assists, a game and season-high 23 turnovers and one blocked shot, with six steals.
Arizona shot .525 (31-59) from the field, .222 (2-9) from the three-point range and .833 (15-18) from the foul line, with 26 rebounds, an opponent season-high 20 assists, 18 turnovers, one blocked shot and an opponent season-high 10 steals. The Wildcats were led by Hassan Adams' 21 points.
Ben Howland - In his third season at UCLA, with a school mark of 41-30 (.577). 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 209-129 (.618/UCLA's 56-37 win over Delaware State on Nov. 19 in Pauley was Howland's 200th career win). Howland is 4-4 vs. Arizona State.
Best Start Since - UCLA's 12-2 start is its best since the 1994-95 NCAA Championship season, when the Bruins started the season 12-1 (UCLA lost the 14th game to California in Pauley, 100-93, Jan. 28/game was later forfeited by California, UCLA would not lose again, finishing with a 32 (school record for wins)-1 overall mark and the school's 11th NCAA Championship).
-Jordan Farmar - sprained his right ankle vs. Stanford in the second half (played only four minutes), then came back to start and play 36 minutes vs. California. Farmar started vs. Arizona but was bothered by the ankle (had it rewrapped in the first half) - he played 24 minutes (11 points and team-high four assists), and hit four consecutive free throws late in the game to help preserve the Bruin win. Earlier this season, Farmar sprained his right ankle vs. Temple (did not play vs. Delaware State/did not play vs. Albany). -Ryan Wright - sprained his right ankle in the first half vs. Stanford, but came back to play (22 minutes). He played 15 minutes vs. California and 16 minutes at Arizona. -Ryan Hollins - has missed the last four games since straining his groin in warm-ups for the Sacramento State game. -Michael Fey - has missed the last three games with a right ankle sprain and is not on the trip. -Cedric Bozeman - on Dec. 27 (before the Stanford game), injured his left shoulder (an MRI revealed a cartilage tear). Bozeman will rest and rehab for 3-4 weeks (and attempt to come back and play after that time period). -Janou Rubin - missed the Arizona game with the flu. -Assistant Coach Donny Daniels - missed the Arizona game with the flu.
From the Field - For six of the last eight games, the Bruins have shot at least .509 from the field, including two games over .600 (season-high .673 vs. Sacramento State and .608 at Arizona). The Bruins are 8-0 when shooting .500 or better from the field.
Out-Rebounding - the Bruins have been outrebounded only three times this season (including losses to Memphis and California) and have outrebounded five of their last six opponents, losing only to California.
Arron Afflalo - a Scout.com early-season All-American, Afflalo is UCLA's leading scorer (18.9/second in the Pac-10), tops in minutes (34.7), is averaging 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists, and shooting .556 from the field, .452 from three-point range and .807 from the foul line. At Arizona, had a game-high 22 points (9-12, 3-6, 1-2), three rebounds and two assists. His two layups late in the game preserved UCLA's lead. He's led the Bruins in scoring 10 games this season, including the last five contests (22 Arizona, 19 California, career-high tying 23 Stanford/22 Sacramento State/13 Wagner). He's scored 20 or more points seven times, including a career-high 23 vs. Stanford and 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 (.416, 77-185) is No. 4 in school history.
Jordan Farmar - A preseason Wooden Award and Naismith candidate, Farmar is the Pac-10 assist leader (5.83) and No. 2 on the team in minutes (31.2) and points (13.8). He's been dealing with a sprained right ankle suffered in the second half (played only four minutes) of the Stanford game. At Arizona, he had to have the ankle rewrapped during the first half, but still started and played 24 minutes (11 points, team-high four assists) and connected on four consecutive free throws late in the game to help secure UCLA's victory in Tucson. He has scored in double figures eight times, has three games of 21 or more points, including a career-high 28 vs. Memphis in the NIT Season Tipoff, has led the Bruins in scoring three times, including consecutive wins over Nevada (24) at the Wooden Classic and at Michigan (21) and in assists on nine occasions, including the last two games.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - A starter in all 14 games at forward, Mbah a Moute is UCLA's leading rebounder (8.7) and averaging 8.1 points. He is first on the team in total steals (16) and second in blocked shots (12). His streak of leading the Bruins in rebounding (first 12 games - the longest Bruin streak since 1977-78, when David Greenwood led UCLA in rebounding in the last 13 regular season games) was snapped when he had three rebounds vs. Cal. At Arizona, Mbah a Moute again led the Bruins in rebounding, with a game-high nine, along with eight points, a season-high tying three assists in a season-high 36 minutes. He has four double/doubles - consecutive double/doubles vs. Stanford (12/12)/Sacramento State (season-high 13/10) and Albany (season-high13/season-high13)/Coppin State (11/10) - the last UCLA freshman to have consecutive double/doubles was JaRon Rush in 1998-99/final two games that season, 16/10 at Arizona, 10/13 vs. Detroit Mercy (NCAA).
Josh Shipp - returned to the starting lineup vs. Stanford, after missing the first 11 games following right hip surgery on Sept. 28. At Arizona, Shipp played a season-high 31 minutes, with a season-best 14 points and six rebounds. His two free throws with :05 left to play provided the Bruins their 85-79 winning margin. He's averaging 29.0 minutes, 11.7 points and 4.0 rebounds and shooting .500 from three-point range and 1.000 from the foul line (5-5).
Lorenzo Mata - Has started the last four games and five of the last six games at center for the Bruins. At Arizona, his rebounding and defense contributed greatly to the Bruin victory - playing 19 minutes, with nine points and seven rebounds. He's averaging 4.8 points and 4.8 rebounds, shooting .548 from the field and leads the Bruins in total blocked shots (13).