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Ringing In Another Win

Before we get to roundup of last night's game here is something we can all enjoy. You can all thank our Bruin Insomniac for sharing this beauty which was on full display during half time along with our football team last night at Pauley:

Now to the game. It was another snoozer yet a 24 point win. As Dohn reports the half time ceremony honoring the football team and ringing in the bell were the most exciting moments of last night's game. I read some people writing if we play like last night we will have a very difficult time against Texas A&M. Folks there is no need to panic.

Here is the key quote (from CSUF head coach) IMHO from last night's game. From the LA Times:

Coach Bob Burton said it was obvious his team tired out.

"They wore us down with their strength and defense," Burton said. "They are such a second-half team. And because they are so good defensively, you can't make that many turnovers."
How many times we have seen quotes like that from opposing coaches after their teams have taken a beating from the Ben Ball warriors. More on that point from BBR:
With another lackluster first-half team performance behind them, UCLA came out in the second-half with more intensity and playing solid defense. The Bruins went on a 9-2 run to start the half to go up by 13. However, the Titans had one more run left in them and cut the lead to just 6 points with eight minutes remaining.

By then the CS Fullerton starters were exhausted having played most of the game, and the Bruins finished the game outscoring the Titans 25-7.

"They wore us down with their strength and defense," CS Fullerton coach Bob Burton said.. "Our best players were falling down trying to penetrate. All of a sudden we couldn't score and then the turnovers came."

After allowing the Titans to shoot 43% in the first-half, the Bruins limited them to only 30% in the second.  Led by Mata, UCLA out-rebounded the under-sized Titans 40-31.
Sure it wasn't a pretty game. But from what I saw it seemed like the Titans came in well prepared. As mentioned in the roundup and in articles yesterday, Coach Howland and Burton knew each other and the players were also very familiar with each other. So this wasn't a CSUF team that came in intimidated. Yet except for 14-4 run CSUF had to come out of the gate, they got dominated rest of the game.

And if not for the woeful officiating from those referees, the Bruins would have destroyed the Titans probably by more than 40 points. Lot of those offensive fouls, especially 3 called on LRMAM were beyond ridiculous. And yet the Bruins ended up winning by 24 points.

The hero from last night was obviously Mata. From the LA Times:
In a game that was predicted to be fast-paced and high scoring, it was the relentless desire of junior center Lorenzo Mata to accept the pushes and shoves, the swinging elbows, the physical hurt it takes to get a rebound, that made the difference.

Mata had a career-high 16 of them, to go with his nine points for the Bruins (7-0). He got a heartfelt cheer when he made his first free throw, after missing his first five. If only Mata had made more than one of his free throws, he would have had a double-double.

The Bruins overcame an early 10-point deficit not because Afflalo made a buzzer-beating three-point basket to end the first half or because Shipp made a three-pointer with 7 minutes 44 seconds left to put the Bruins up, 56-47, and push the Titans (5-2) down for good.

It was Mata, whose biceps are bulging but whose strength comes from his sturdy legs, who played the stout defense and who insisted with his body language that every rebound should belong to him.

"I want to commend Lorenzo Mata," Coach Ben Howland said. "He was absolutely phenomenal on the glass. I'm really proud of him."
And the kid is only going to get better here on out.  As will rest of our team.

So once again no need to panic folks. I am sure Coach Howland and his staff will be working on improve our team in the areas that still need a lot of work. One of which is coming out of the gates strong. Bruins will be taking on a very good A&M team this Saturday, which will be looking to make a statement after coming off a disappointing loss. I have a feeling our coaches will get the boys ready for the Aggies. Can't wait till Saturday to ring in another Ben Ball win.