Bozeman Keys Bruin Win Over Delaware St.
By Bruin Basketball Report
Senior leadership is a key component to many successful NCAA teams especially during close games and at tournament time - the Bruins are lucky to have fifth-year senior Cedric Bozeman back this year.
Despite opening with a 13-0 run to begin the game, the Bruins (3-0) could not put away little Delaware St. (0-1) until the final minutes of the game - finally winning by the score of 56-37.
Near the end of the first half Delaware St. had cut the Bruin first half lead to seven when Cedric Bozeman hit a 3-point basket right at the buzzer to push the lead back to double digits.
When Delaware threatened again with less than eight minutes in the game by slicing the Bruin lead to four - Bozeman hit two big 3-point shots to kill the rally.
Bozeman led all scorers with 15 points and was once again a calming influence on the young Bruin lineup which started two freshmen and one sophomore.
Freshman Michael Roll had his best game of the early regular season by hitting three 3-point shots towards the end of the game to help the Bruins finally pull away from Delaware St.
The Bruins will count on Roll to be a "zone killer" during the season when they face tough match-up zone defenses from teams such as Delaware St. and Temple.
Starting as the UCLA point guard in only his third regular season game, freshman Darren Collison played a gutsy 35 minutes in place of the injured Jordan Farmar. He scored the opening basket of the game on a fastbreak layup.
However, Delaware St. exploited Collison's inexperience by double teaming and trapping Collison whenever he had the ball - resulting either in rushed offensive sets or turnovers.
It was points off turnovers which kept Delaware St. in the game.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute continued to be a dominating rebounding presence for the Bruins grabbing a team high 6 rebounds. He also showed good ballhandling skills from the wings as he slashed his way to the basket on 4-5 shooting for 8 points.
Post Game Notes: Jordan Farmar (sprained ankle) is still day to day, but did walk into Pauley without any assistance and should play in the semifinal game against Memphis on Wednesday in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off Classic. Michael Fey (sprained shoulder) is also day to day.
If Farmar can't play against Memphis, expect Cedric Bozeman to see more minutes at point as his experience at the position is a key to the Bruin offense, at least until Farmar returns and Collison gains more college game experience.
Lorenzo Mata played serviceable back-up minutes for Fey, but Mata will need to stay out of foul trouble and stay aggressive on both ends of the court. If Mata gets into trouble then expect to see freshman, Ryan Wright, to see some minutes in the game against Memphis.
The victory against Delaware St. was Ben Howland's 200th victory as a head coach