No. 12 UCLA Hosts Wagner Wednesday and Sacramento State Friday

Dec. 20, 2005

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UCLA Men's Basketball

No.12 /No. 12 UCLA (8-1) returns to Pauley Pavilion for two weeks and four consecutive home games - this week Bruins host Wagner (6-1) Wednesday (Dec. 21/7:30 P.M.) and Sacremento State (7-4) Friday (Dec. 23/7:30 P.M.); UCLA off to best start since 1997-98 after winning at Michigan 68-61 last Saturday.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21 - No.12/No. 12 UCLA (8-1) hosts WAGNER (6-1) -Pauley Pavilion/7:30 p.m. PT (TV-no/Radio- 690 AM, with Chris Roberts and Don MacLean)

FRIDAY, DEC. 23 - SACRAMENTO STATE (7-4) at UCLA - Pauley Pavilion, 7:30 p.m. PT (TV- FSNW2, with Bill Macdonald and Don MacLean /Radio- 690 AM, with Chris Roberts and Gary Maloncon). Sacramento State hosts Cal Poly-SLO on Tuesday.

UCLA HEAD COACH Ben Howland - In his third season at UCLA and 12th year as a collegiate head coach (in his 25th season of college basketball, as an assistant and head coach). In his career, Howland is 1-0 vs. Wagner and 6-2 vs. Sacramento State.
2005-06 - UCLA (8-1, 9 games/.889)
2004-05 - UCLA (18-11, 29 games/.621)
2003-04 - UCLA (11-17, 28 games/.393)
UCLA Totals - 37-29, 66 games/.561
2000-03 - Pittsburgh (89-40, 129 games/69.0)
1995-99 - N. Arizona (79-59, 138 games/57.2)
Overall - (205-128, 333 games/.616)

UCLA's 67-56 win over then No. 17 Nevada at the Wooden Classic was Howland's first victory over a ranked nonleague opponent while at UCLA. He recorded his 200tth career victory on Nov. 19, when UCLA defeated Delaware State 56-37 in Pauley Pavilion. In Howland's second year (2004-05) at UCLA, he joined an elite list of college coaches (28) who have led three different teams to the NCAA Tournament (Howland's overall NCAA record is 4-4) - 2005 UCLA, 2003 Pittsburgh ('Sweet 16), 2002 Pittsburgh ('Sweet 16') and 1998 Northern Arizona. In 2005, Howland led the Bruins back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002; he directed the Bruins to a win over nationally-ranked Washington; led UCLA to a third-place tie in the Pac-10 and to a Pac-10 Tournament appearance. In Howland's first year (2003-04) at UCLA, highlights included a 9-3 start (5-0 in the Pac-10), wins over NCAA Tournament teams Michigan State, Washington (twice) and Vermont and an appearance in the Pac-10 Tournament.

In his last two seasons (2002-03) at Pittsburgh - in 2003, he led the Panthers to a 28-5 overall record, No. 4 national ranking, NCAA 'Sweet 16' and the Big East Tournament Championship and in 2002, Pittsburgh was 29-6 overall (school record for wins), advanced to the NCAA 'Sweet 16' and the Big East Tournament title game and Howland was the consensus National Coach of the Year.

HEAD COACH MIKE DEANE - In his third season at Wagner (32-34) and 22nd season as a head coach (375-254), including stints at Siena (1986-94, 166-77), Marquette (1994-99, 100-55) and Lamar (1999-03, 52-62). Like Howland, Deane is one of only 28 college coaches who have led three different schools (Siena, Marquette, Lamar) to the NCAA Tournament.

THE SEAHAWKS - are 6-1 (best start since 1979-80) and winners of their last four games, including last Saturday's victory at Rhode Island 63-61 (third straight road win, Wagner has won nine of its last 12 road games). Wagner has three players in double figures, led by Mark Porter's 14.0 average. Blue Ribbon picks Wagner to finish second in the Northeast Conference (last year, Wagner was 13-17 overall/10-8 in league play, 4th-place tie/runnerup in last season's NEC Championship game-Wagner has won 17 of its last 20 games). In 2005, Porter earned league All-Freshman team honors and then-junior guard DeEarnest McLemore was the NEC Defensive Player of the Year.

SERIES HISTORY - This is the teams' first meeting.

UCLA'S LAST GAMESDec. 17 - No. 14 UCLA 68, at Michigan 61 - before a sellout crowd of 13,751 at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, the Bruins overcame a sluggish start and behind 41 points from its starting guards (Jordan Farmar 21 points/Arron Afflalo 20 points), UCLA defeated Michigan 68-61. It was Michigan's first loss (7-1) of the season.

In the first half, UCLA missed its first eight shots and fell behind 8-0 (14:50). But in the next four minutes, Afflalo scored 14 of the Bruins' initial 16 points (including four, three-pointers), to give UCLA a 16-10 advantage. In the final three minutes of the first half, the Wolverines outscored UCLA 9-0 to take a 34-32 halftime lead.

Although Michigan opened up a six-point lead start the second half (38-32, 18:14 left to play), in the next 10 minutes, the Bruins outscored the Wolverines 23-6 to take a 55-44 advantage with 8:40 remaining (on a field goal by Farmar). During that time frame, Farmar scored 10 points. UCLA's biggest lead was 14 points (61-47, 5:56 left, on a three-pointer by Farmar/ he had 15 of his points (5-9, 3-4, 2-4) in the final 20 minutes).

With 2:37 remaining, Michigan cut UCLA's lead to four points (63-59). But an Afflalo steal, leading to a Luc Richard Mbah a Moute basket, gave the Bruins a 65-59 lead with 1:23 left to play, helping to seal UCLA's victory.

Afflalo scored 17 of his 20 points by halftime and overall connected on a career-high six three-pointers. For the second consecutive game, Farmar led the Bruins in scoring and also had a season-best five rebounds, with two assists and steals. For the ninth consecutive game, Mbah a Moute led the Bruins in rebounding (a game-high nine, with four points).

UCLA shot .446 (25-56) from the field, .476 (season-high tying 10-21) from three-point range and a season-low .571 (8-14) from the foul line, with a game-high 35 rebounds (Bruins are 6-0 when outrebounding the opponent), 16 assists, 16 turnovers, two blocked shots and a season-best 11 steals.Michigan shot .418 (23-55) from the field, .217 (5-23) from three-point range and .714 (10-14) from the foul line, with 34 rebounds, 12 assists, a game-high 18 turnovers, five blocked shots and six steals. UCLA's defense held Wolverine center Courtney Sims to just six points, including 1-2 from the field. Michigan was led by Chris Hunter's 15 points.


Bruin Bits
Start the Season - UCLA's 8-1 start is the best under Howland (in his third season) - last year, 6-1, lost next game at Michigan State; 2003-04 - started 3-1, lost next game to UC Santa Barbara in Pauley Pavilion. It's UCLA's best start since 1997-98 (started 9-1, lost at Arizona).

Defense - In the last five games (5-0), UCLA has held opponents to 59.0 points a game (in nine games, UCLA's scoring defense of 59.7 is second in the Pac-10). In the last two games, the Bruins have held opponents to .396 (42-106) from the field (Michigan 23-55, .418/Nevada 19-51, .373) and .282 (11-39) from three-point range (Michigan 5-23, .217/Nevada 6-16, .375). In the last two games, UCLA has averaged 10.5 steals a game, including a season-best 11 at Michigan (and 10 vs. Nevada).

Jordan Farmar - A Preseason Wooden Award/Naismith candidate, has led the Bruins in scoring the last two games - a game-high 21 points at Michigan and game-high tying 24 points in the Wooden Classic vs. Nevada. He now has three games of 20 or more points (at the NIT Season Tip-Off semis in New York City, Farmar scored a career-high 28 points, including 23 in the second half, and a career-high tying four, three-pointers, in the Bruins' 88-80 loss to Memphis). He's UCLA's second leading scorer (16.7) and assist leader (5.9, also Pac-10 leader).

Arron Afflalo - UCLA's leading scorer (18.3), he was named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team. Afflalo is the only Bruin to have started every game and scored in double figures every game, including four games of 20 or more points (career-high 23 vs. New Mexico State, 22 Albany, 20 Coppin State, 20 Michigan, including three of the last four games) . He's led UCLA in scoring in five games this season - Coppin State (20), Albany (22), Memphis (18 points), Temple (18) and New Mexico State (career-high 23). He also leads the team in minutes (35.6) and free throw percentage (.811/30-37) and leads the Pac-10 in three-point field goals made (3.00).

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - The Bruins' leading rebounder (8.9), he's been UCLA's leading rebounder in every game - Michigan (9)Nevada (9), Coppin State (10), Albany (season-high 13), Drexel (8, tied with Lorenzo Mata), Memphis (7), Delaware State (6), Temple (10) and New Mexico State (8). Mbah a Moute recorded double/doubles in two consecutive games (Coppin State, 11 points/10 rebounds; Albany, season-high 13 points/season-high 13 rebounds) - the first starting freshman to accomplish that feat since JaRon Rush (1998-99-final two games that season-at Arizona-16/10 and Detroit Mercy (NCAA)-10/13).Ryan Wright - Came off the bench at Michigan with season-highs of eight points and eight rebounds and helped with the interior defense that stymied Wolverine center Courtney Sims.

Sophomore point guard Jordan Farmar - suffered a right groin strain in practice on Thursday (Oct. 27) and was held out of practice for five days (Thursday-Tuesday, the Bruins did not practice on Sunday, Oct. 30). After Tuesday's (Nov. 1) examination, Farmar, who had shown significant improvement, continued to strengthen and receive treatment. He did not practice or play the rest of the week and did not play in UCLA's exhibition game vs. Carleton (Friday, Nov. 4). Farmar was cleared to resume practice on Monday (Nov. 7) and started vs. CS Monterey Bay. Farmar started the first two NIT Season Tip-Off encounters, but sprained his right ankle vs. Temple and did not play vs. Delaware State. He started vs. Memphis and Drexel. Following an inconclusive early MRI on Tuesday (Nov. 29), another MRI was taken later that day which showed Farmar did not have a right foot stress fracture. He did not play vs. Albany (Nov. 29), but came back to start vs. Coppin State (Dec. 4) and responded with his first career double/double (16 points-career-high 10 assists) and has started every game since Coppin State.

Freshman forward Alfred Aboya - had a right knee arthroscopic procedure on July 11 and had a left knee arthroscopic procedure on Oct. 12. Aboya was re-evaluated on Nov. 2 and he did not have any basketball activity for the next two weeks. His first game was Coppin State (Dec. 4 -16 minutes, two rebounds and assists) and he played five minutes vs. Nevada (Dec. 10-one rebound) and seven minutes (two points, one rebound) at Michigan.

Senior center Michael Fey - before the start of practice (Oct. 14), was diagnosed with a severe groin strain. On Tuesday (Nov. 8), Fey was cleared for a one hour workout (once a day, starting Nov. 9). Fey participated in team practice on Saturday (Nov. 12). He played 17 minutes vs. New Mexico State (seven points/two rebounds) and 15 minutes vs. Temple (0 points/two rebounds), but sprained his left shoulder. He did not play vs. Delaware State and his status was 'day-to-day'. In New York, Fey played a season-high 21 minutes vs. Memphis (season-high 13 points/four rebounds) and five minutes vs. Drexel. On Thursday (Dec. 1), suffered a right ankle sprain in practice and did not play vs. Coppin State on Dec. 4 and Nevada on Dec. 10. He did play two minutes at Michigan.

Sophomore center Lorenzo Mata - suffered a concussion in practice on Dec. 1 and did not play on Dec. 4 vs. Coppin State and vs. Nevada on Dec. 10. He started vs. Michigan (10 minutes, six rebounds).Sophomore guard Arron Afflalo - suffered a left quadricep contusion on Oct. 29. He was listed as day-to-day, resumed practice on Nov. 3 and has started every game.

Freshman forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - before the start of practice (Oct. 14) was diagnosed with sprained right shoulder. He returned to full-time practice status on Oct. 22 and has started every game.Sophomore forward Josh Shipp - on Sept. 28, had an arthroscopic right hip procedure. During his initial rehabilitation, he was on crutches for almost a month (came off of crutches on Oct. 26). Shipp is looking for a return in mid-to-late December.

Redshirt Freshman Walkon Joey Ellis - On Oct. 7, had a left knee arthroscopic procedure and could be out for 12 weeks.

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