Friday, December 30, 2005

Bruins Trounce Stanford, End Streak

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Forward Josh Shipp returned to action and sparked the No.11 ranked Bruins to a 71-54 rout of the Stanford Cardinal before a raucous crowd of 10,984 at Pauley Pavilion.

The win snapped Stanford's six game winning streak against UCLA, and it was the Bruin's first victory against the Cardinal at Pauley Pavilion since 1997. UCLA head coach Ben Howland also earned his first win over Stanford.

Shipp played 29 minutes and gave the Bruins another weapon in their offensive arsenal. He scored 11 points, hit two key 3-point shots, and helped the Bruin offense flow with passes for easy scores - doing what Josh Shipp does the best - being in the right spot on the court at the right time. In one play against a Cardinal 2-3 zone, Shipp simply moved to the corner baseline, called for the ball, and then dribbled baseline drawing two players to him and then flipped the ball to a wide open Luc Richard Mbah a Moute under the basket for an easy score.

Coach Ben Howland had planned to use Shipp in limited minutes against Stanford, but when it was later found that senior forward Cedric Bozeman would not play, Howland had little choice but to play Shipp extended minutes. In post game comments Howland said, "we don't win today without Josh Shipp"

Shipp made his presence known right away. On Stanford's first possession they attempted to pass the ball down low, but the ball was tipped and Arron Afflalo found a streaking Josh Shipp for a lay-up and foul for the first points of the game and Shipp's season.

The cagey sophomore had hip surgery in September and returned to practice a couple of weeks ago. Shipp still needs a few games to regain his endurance and to scrape the rust off his game. Knowing he was going to play more than expected, Shipp paced himself during the game. "It was just great to come back and help the team", Shipp said after the win

The Bruins (11-1) got off to another great start as they went on an 18-1 run to begin the game, and Stanford (4-5) did not score it's first field goal until nine minutes into the game.

It was the UCLA team's best defensive effort of the season. They held Stanford to only five field goals and 20% shooting (5-25) in the first half. Stanford finished the game shooting an anemic 29% (14-48) from the field.

Senior center Matt Haryasz was constantly harassed by a Bruin defense which doubled him whenever he got the ball down low. Bruin big men - Lorenzo Mata, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Ryan Wright, and Alfred Aboya - held the Cardinal big man to 3-10 shooting and 13 points with most of his points coming after the game was determined.

Stanford senior stand-outs guards Chris Hernandez and Dan Grunfeld scored only 7 points a piece combining on 4 of 21 shooting.

Sophomore Arron Afflalo led the Bruins in scoring again with 23 points on 7-11 shooting and hit 3 of 5 from behind the arc. He made some tough shots coming off screens and switches to ignite the Bruin offense early.

Jordan Farmar had a tough game against Stanford. He scored 5 points and had 4 assists in only 15 minutes of action. Farmar got into early foul trouble which earned him a spot on the bench.

In a scary moment in the game, after a scramble for a rebound in a crowd of players, Farmar limped off the court after re-injuring his right ankle. The Pauley crowd knowing the importance of Farmar to the team grew suddently quiet as Farmar hobbled slowly to the bench. Farmar did not return to the game, but fortunately for the Bruins they were up by 20 points at the time. Farmar's playing status will be determined later today and perhaps at game time on Saturday.

With Farmar and Bozeman injured and Arron Afflalo in foul trouble, Darren Collison played 31 minutes at the point. His play was inconsistent - Collison had 8 assists but also had 5 turnovers, and on a few possessions with the clock running down he looked lost running the offense and forced his teammates into some tough buzzer beating shots.

The freshman is still learning and will have nights like this, but Collison will need to rebound strong from this effort especially if Farmar's ankle injury keeps him to limited minutes in the next game.

Freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute recorded another double-double scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds - leading the Bruins in rebounding for the twelfth straight game. Mbah a Moute did a great job defensively helping out on the low post doubles and had two of his three blocked shots on Matt Haryasz. He also finished with three steals.

With both seniors Ryan Hollins and Michael Fey out, Lorenzo Mata and Ryan Wright played the entire game at center combining for 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 blocked shots.

Both Wright and Mata could be found chasing loose balls and deflecting passes in the paint. This type of production and effort from the five spot was missing last year and earlier in the season. Ryan Wright injured his ankle during the first half and momentarily left the game but he returned a few minutes later and finished the game.

As a team, the Bruins shot a sizzling 60% to storm out to a 38-19 first half lead. They finished the game shooting 50.9%. The Bruins also hit on 43.8% of their 3-point shots (7-16) and outrebounded Stanford 37-31.

The Bruins now have an 8 game winning streak heading into their next Pac-10 game against the California Golden Bears on Saturday. Cal defeated the USC Trojans yesterday at Staples Center 62-58.

Post Game Notes: Cedric Bozeman injured his left shoulder during practice on Tuesday and had a MRI done Wednesday night. The results showed Bozeman has torn cartlidge in his shoulder which will sideline him for at least 2-4 weeks. He was on the bench wearing a sling. Before the shoulder injury, Bozeman had started every game and averaged 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds a game after rehabilitating from a major knee injury he suffered last year.

Ryan Hollins will miss at least a week due to a groin injury, while Michael Fey's status (ankle) will be determined at game time on Saturday.


(photo credit: AP)


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