Farmar Scores 24 Leads Bruins Over Nevada
By Bruin Basketball Report
Jordan Farmar hit on 10 of 13 field goals for 24 points to lead the UCLA Bruins to a 67-56 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack at the 12th annual John R. Wooden Classic. The Bruins improved their record to 7-1 this season while handing Nevada their first lost of the season (5-1).
The game was tight throughout the first half as both teams started off tentatively until freshman Darren Collison checked into the game and kicked the tempo up a notch. The speedy guard from Rancho Cucamonga pushed the ball up the court and penetrated into the paint for 10 first half points. Collison did his most damage while Farmar was on the court with him - giving the Bruins speed and energy that the Wolf Pack could not match - as the Bruin transition game shifted into high gear and the Bruins went into the half with a 33-24 lead
The Bruins were able to contain WAC player of the year Nick Fazekas limiting to him to 3 field goals in the first half as Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Ryan Hollins took turns guarding Fazekas and got a lot of help from either sagging perimeter players or post players. Whenever Fazekas got the ball within 15 feet the Bruins immediately double teamed him forcing either a pass or tough shot. Although Fazekas finished with 24 points, the Bruin defenders limited his effectiveness in the offense throughout the game as Fazekas scored many of his points after the game was determined.
Arron Afflalo had 16 points mostly on transition baskets and drives to the hoop. The sophomore guard was simply too powerful and athletic for the Nevada guards to contain. Afflalo also finished with 8 rebounds.
The leading rebounder for the Bruins was once again Luc Richard Mbah a Moute who grabbed 9 rebounds' he also hit key free throws down the stretch to extend the Bruin lead.
Freshman Ryan Wright started the game at center and played a career high 33 minutes. Wright only had 3 points and 3 rebounds but he contributed with energy in the post and made some key deflections which led to offensive rebounds by the Bruins. Wright also did a good job in helping Mbah a Moute and Hollins double team Fazekas in the low post.
A huge key to the game was the stifling Bruin defense as they limited Nevada to only 37% shooting while in the meantime the Bruins shot a blistering 52%. Cedric Bozeman had an off game offensively but he played well on the defensive end limiting Nevada's Mo Charles to 4-13 shooting.
But the game belonged to Jordan Farmar. Farmar had a slow first half but then took over the game in the second half as he began to penetrate into the Wolf Pack defense for tear drop shots and layups. Then when the Wolf Pack guards backed off Farmar to prevent his pentration he hit on his 3-point jumpers - most of the time as the shot clock was winding down.
The victory over Nevada was the Bruins first victory this year over a top 25 ranked team and should help the Bruins in their ranking and overall RPI rating.
The Bruins now travel to Ann Arbor for a game next weekend against the Michigan Wolverines on December 17.