Thursday, February 09, 2006

Bruins Shut Down Cougars For 20th Win

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

In college basketball a visiting team wins on the road by playing great defense – Ben Howland’s Bruins took the maxim to extreme heights Thursday night.

The UCLA Bruins crushed the Washington St (WSU) Cougars, 50-30 at Friel Court in Pullman.

The 30 points broke a forty-year old UCLA record for least points allowed in a game. On January 7, 1966 UCLA held Oregon St. to only 35 points.

UCLA (20-4, 10-2) started the game with an 18-2 run in which they made 7 of their first 8 shots; while holding WSU (10-10, 3-8) to just 1 of 9 shooting in the first 9 minutes of the game.

Sophomore Arron Afflalo sparked the Bruin attack in the first half with 9 points on 4 of 4 shooting, all inside the paint, as he attacked the basket with stubborn determination.

The Bruins went into halftime with a 26-12 lead as they limited the Cougars to only 27% shooting in the first half.

In the second half UCLA did not score for the first four minutes but WSU could not capitalize scoring only two points during the same span.

After a 20 second time-out, Cedric Bozeman found Ryan Hollins on a play for a slam dunk. The Bruin’s lead was never less than 12 the rest of the game.

WSU’s Josh Akognon, who scored 25 points in the team’s last meeting, was completely shut down by the defense of Arron Afflalo.

The 5’10 Akognon was shadowed by the 6’5 Afflalo the entire game. He became so frustrated by the physical lock down by Afflalo that he began to complain to referees after every possession, at least until WSU’s coach Dick Bennett had enough of Akognon himself and benched him.

Akognon finished with only 4 points on 2 of 7 shooting. He also committed 2 turnovers.

Forward Robbie Cowgill had an equally bad night for the Cougars. He shot only 1-11 and missed numerous close range attempts - many while being harassed by Bruin defenders. Cowgill finished with only 4 points but did grab 7 rebounds.

Kyle Weaver, the Cougar’s third leading scorer, was held to no points and was limited to only three shot attempts in the game by the smothering defense of senior forward Cedric Bozeman. Bozeman also contributed on the offense with 4 points on 2-3 shooting, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.

The only Cougar to score in double figures was center Aron Baynes who bullied himself underneath for 10 points. He also grabbed 8 rebounds. No other Cougar scored more than 4 points

To make things worst, WSU was outscored by the Bruin starting front court of Arron Afflalo and Jordan Farmar. Afflalo had 12 points and Farmar finished with a team-high 20 points on 7 of 13 shooting.

Not bad for a player with two sore ankles.

Farmar sprained his left ankle against Arizona, and was a game-time decision today whether he would play against WSU. Although it was clear Farmar’s usual explosiveness was absent, it did not deter him from driving into the paint for difficult shots in a crowd of players underneath.

Freshman Luc Richard Mbah a Moute again led all Bruins with 7 rebounds and chipped in 4 points.

Center Ryan Hollins continued his string of solid games for the Bruins. Hollins grabbed 6 rebounds and controlled the paint with good help defense.

However, freshman Darren Collison continued to struggle finishing with 2 points on 1 of 4 shooting and had no assists. Over the last five games, Collison is averaging only 2.1 points and 1.0 assist per game – he had been averaging over 6 points and 3 assists in prior games.

Lately, Collison appeares to be over-penetrating at times, and as a result, the offense has not flowed well with him at the point.

Moreover in the WSU game, the offense seemed to do better when Cedric Bozeman played the back-up point rather than Collison which Howland had Bozeman do a few times more than usual in this game.

But the Bruins need Collison. His quickness brings a special element to the Bruin attack – a much needed change of pace to the offense. Collison will need to fight through his current troubles and play better as the Pac-10 season winds down and the tournament begins - especially in light of the injuries suffered by Farmar this year.

For the game the Bruins shot 45% from the field, while holding the Cougars to only 27%. UCLA also beat WSU on the boards, 32-28.

In a rather clean game called by officials, WSU shot only 2 of 5 from the free throw line, while UCLA shot 10 of 13 .

The Bruins have now won five straight games and have hit the 20 game win mark for the first time since the 2001-02 season when they finished 21-12 under head coach Steve Lavin.

UCLA travels to Seattle for a meeting with the Washington Huskies on Saturday. The Huskies defeated the USC Trojans 87-73 Thursday evening.


(photo credit: AP/Barrentine)


Post a Comment

<< Back To Bruin Basketball Report Home