Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Prince Luc's Double-Double Leads To Bruin Win Over Albany

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

College basketball freshmen are suppose to take time during their first season to learn about the game at the college level.

Meet Freshman Prince Luc Richard Mbah a Moute of Camaroon.

Mbah a Moute continued to impress his coaches and Bruin faithful as he recorded a double-double to lead the Bruins (5-1) to a 73-65 victory over the Albany Great Danes (1-4) at Pauley Pavilion.

He recorded 13 points and 13 rebounds (8 on the offensive board)and again demonstrated the hustle and heady play which has made him an early Bruin fan favorite. Mbah a Moute has a nose for the ball which would make him a good rebounder at any level of play.

In a game in which the inside game for the Bruins was lacking again, Mbah a Moute was a bright spot on the frontline with his aggressive play on both ends of the court. He also sunk his first 3-point shot of the season as a trailer on a fast break in the first half.

The Bruins played without their playmaker Jordan Farmar whose status was subject to much confusion prior to the game.

Earlier in the day it was reported that Farmar had a stress fracture from an ankle injury he suffered in the Memphis game and might possibly be out of action for 4-6 weeks. However it was later reported that a second MRI was taken on the ankle and the results were negative - showing only a sprained ankle.

Farmar's status is day to day status and most likely will miss only about a week. A huge sigh of relief for Bruin fans.

The Bruins broke out to a 19 point lead against Albany in the first half only to have Albany cut the lead to just five before the half.

"After getting the big lead we let down a bit and got a little cute", said Coach Ben Howland, as he inserted little played Ryan Wright and Janou Rubin into the lineup at the same time which resulted in less than optimal court play and led to the cut in the lead.

Freshman Darren Collison started in place of Farmar and struggled in the first half. On the first play of the game Collison committed a charge and then committed another turnover on an ill-advised half-court pass which was easily stolen and converted into a 3-point score.

However Collison was able to pull together in the second half to score 8 points, two 3-point shots, down the stretch to help the Bruins keep their distance from Albany. He ended the game with 3 assists but he also had 5 turnovers.

Cedric Bozeman provided leadership through his controlled and effective play. Bozeman scored 16 points and had 3 assists and played back-up point guard.

Moreover, it was Bozeman running the offense during crunch time with less than four minutes left in the game as he found Collison twice on the wing for open 3-point shots. In addition, Bozeman hit on 4-6 shots from the arc mostly in the first half to get the Bruin offense going.

Coach Ben Howland continued his Lorenzo Mata experiment by starting Mata in the Albany game. Mata's reviews were mixed as he only grabbed two rebounds and was charged with three offensive fouls on moving picks, but Mata was a defensive force at times as he had two blocked shots.

Mata's play appeared to inspire Ryan Hollins to play more aggresively as Hollins recorded three blocked shots as well.

Once again, sophomore Arron Afflalo led the Bruins with 22 points on 8-14 shooting and collected 7 rebounds as well. Afflalo's consistent high offensive output this year can be attributed to his improved outside shooting - something which he worked on very hard this summer.

The Bruins held Albany to only 36% shooting; however, the Bruins gave up way too many offensive rebounds to the Great Danes - 18 total, which helped keep Albany in the game.

Post Game Notes: It was nice to see Alfred Aboya in full uniform and warming up with the team. Howland stated that Aboya will begin full practice drills by this Saturday and may be available for some playing time against Coppin St next week.

The Bruins play Coppin St. on Sunday 1:00PM at Pauley.



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