Friday, February 24, 2006

Farmar Ignites Second Half Rally Against Beavers

By Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

It took twenty minutes and a six point halftime deficit before the Bruins finally awoke from their hibernation.

Jordan Farmar scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half to spark the 17th ranked Bruins to a 78-60 win over the Oregon State (OSU) Beavers at Pauley Pavilion.

Similar to the game against the Trojans on Sunday, the Bruins (21-6, 11-4) started off slowly against the Beavers (11-16, 4-12) as OSU jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the opening minutes.

Despite a game plan to get the ball inside more often, UCLA's first three out of four field goal attempts were long jumpers. For the half, the Bruins shot only 37.5% from the field and 1-7 (14.3%) on three-pointers

Once again the Bruins had difficulty scoring against a zone defense with most of their scores coming while the Beavers were in a man-to-man defense.

UCLA’s own defense was no better allowing open jumpers and easy lay-ups. OSU scored two lay-ups in the opening two minutes of the game.

The Beavers shot 48.3% from the field on their way to a 32-26 first half lead over the Bruins.

At halftime the Bruins had a players-only meeting. "We talked about how we had been underachieving," Farmar said. "We didn't want to go out like that.”

To start the second half, the Bruins came out of the locker room determined to play with intensity and energy - and they were led by their team leader, Jordan Farmar.

Farmar hit two three-pointer and assisted on two others to put the Bruins ahead 38-37 in the opening minutes of the half, then his teammates followed Farmar's lead.

The Bruins scored 52 points in the second half, doubling their first half output. They shot a sizzling 75% (18-24) from the field and hit on 69% of three-pointers (9-13) in the second half.

OSU head coach Jay John helped the Bruins by playing primarily man-to-man defense in the second half despite the effectiveness of their zone in the first half against the Bruins.

UCLA went on a 33-11 run to finish the game to snap its only two-game losing streak of the season.

Senior center Michael Fey started his first game of the season and finished with 1 point, 3 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot in just 7 minutes of play.

Coach Ben Howland put the starting center position up for grabs this week after disappointing efforts by Ryan Hollins in the previous two games. The player who practiced best was to start against OSU. Fey won the starting spot, but Hollins played the most minutes in the game.

Hollins played inspired ball, and although he scored only 4 points, he grabbed 6 defensive rebounds and was active defensively in the paint.

Sophomore guard Arron Afflalo added 20 points (6-11) with 13 of his points coming in the second half as well.

UCLA also got offensive support from freshmen Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Darren Collison who scored 9 points apiece.

Freshman Alfred Aboya scored 5 points and grabbed 5 rebounds while playing primarily from the power forward position. He was questionable due to a left hip flexor injury suffered during practice, but he was able to play 13 minutes in this contest.

The Bruins out-rebounded the Beavers 32-20; and committed only 12 turnovers in the game. After committing 5 in his last game against the Trojans, Farmar only had 2 against OSU.

OSU's Sasha Cuic, who scored 24 points against UCLA in the previous meeting at Corvallis, was hampered by foul trouble and Bruin double-team coverage. He finished with only 6 points. Nick DeWitz led all Beaver scorers with 14 points.

After horrendous free throw shooting in their previous two losses, the Bruins shot 82% (14-17) in this game. Alternatively, the Beavers shot only a single foul shot in the entire game.

With the win UCLA remains in a first place tie with California in the Pac-10 conference. The Bears beat the WSU Cougars 43-41 earlier in day to keep pace with the Bruins.

UCLA plays the Oregon Ducks on Sunday. It is the last game of the season at Pauley Pavilion, and it will be Senior Day.

Notes: A UCLA student made a shot from mid-court during the halftime shoot-out contest Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion to win free tuition and school books for a year.


(photo credit: AP)


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