Invitation to the Big Apple, UCLA Beats Temple
By Bruin Basketball Report
New York City. Here they come! The Bruins (2-0) advanced to the semifinal round of the NIT Tip-Off Classic with a victory over the Temple Owls (1-1) 54-47.
Coach John Chaney's Owls brought their vaunted match-up zone defense into Westwood on Thursday and forced the Bruins into a 37% shooting performance. Fortunately for UCLA head coach Ben Howland, the Bruins man to man defense was even better holding Temple to 31% shooting.
Arron Afflalo followed up a career high 23 point night against New Mexico State with a a team high 18 point on 4 of 11 shooting from the 3-point arc.
Afflalo's shooting was especially needed after halftime when the Bruins offense stalled to begin the second half and allowed Temple to cut a 15 point lead to 8 in less than two minutes. After Michael Roll hit a 3 point shot to start the rally, Afflalo then scored the Bruins next 8 points to take the lead back to double digits.
With the lead cut to only three points with less than five minutes left in the game, the Bruins needed someone else to come up big own the stretch- and it was Ryan Hollins who stepped up with two quick scores to seal the second victory of the season for the Bruins.
The Bruins were sparked again by excellent rebounding from their two starting forwards, Senior Cedric Bozeman and and freshman Luc Richard Mbah A Moute who each had 9 and 10, respectively, for the Bruins who outrebounded the bigger Owls 41-29.
Bozeman continued to impress his coaches and fans with his ability to rebound then immediately push the ball up the court for fastbreak opporuntities.
Bozeman who began his career as a point guard was moved to forward due to the development of sophomore Jordan Farmar and the recent recruitment of Darren Collison. However, Bozeman has shown his value as a "point forward" which fits Howland's brand of fastbreak offense this year well.
The Bruins will have their biggest test yet in the young season when they face the 12th ranked Memphis Tigers who earlier in the day defeated Alabama.
Post Game Notes: Jordan Farmar rolled his ankle in the final minutes of the game but returned to finish the game. Michael Fey was hacked across his left shoulder to begin the second half and did not return. Their playing status is unknown for the next game against Delaware on Saturday at Pauley Pavilion.