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The Old Mo'

So we finally have a little momentum after one and half games of listless, slow basketball. We get a much needed against a last place team that I was pretty afraid of considering what they had done to us this yes.  But apparently after starting the game on a horrible note trailing by 6 pts at the half (26-32), the players led by Arron and Jordan decided to hash things out. Here is Brian Dohn of the Daily News:

Trailing at the half against the Pacific-10 Conference's last-place team, UCLA point guard Jordan Farmar said a feeling permeated throughout the locker room.

Enough was enough, especially given Oregon State's dismal standing within the conference.

Farmar and backcourt partner Arron Afflalo then set off an unexpected up-tempo offensive explosion rarely seen in coach Ben Howland's defense-oriented tenure.

The 19th-ranked Bruins shot 75 percent from the field in the second half, scored 20 straight points at one juncture, and made nine 3-pointers en route to a 78-60 blowout of the hapless Beavers on Thursday at Pauley Pavilion.

"We looked at each other and said we've really been underachieving and not playing up to our potential, and we didn't want to go out like that (in the second half)," Farmar said. "It doesn't feel good to play like that. Just playing like that sucked, and we wanted to change that. And we had the willpower, and everything was in our hands, and we got it done."
They came out blitzing in the second half going on a 20-0 run.  It was fun to watch but it was more of a relief.  We know these kids are capable of playing like that but for some reason or another it just wasn't clicking in last few games. Finally those treys that have been going in and out of the rim last few games started going. Perhaps it was a good sign during the half time one of the UCLA students (Jesse Melgares) made the half time shot. Whatever it was - it worked, and Bruins finally looked like the team that we saw against Arizona and USC earlier in the season. Here is more from Arron (courtesy of Dohn) on that 20-0 run:
During that came UCLA's 20-0 run that enabled the Bruins to transform a 49-47 deficit with 13:52 left into a 67-49 lead with 7:17 remaining as UCLA buried wide-open 3-pointers and slashed to the basket for uncontested dunks and lay-ups. It enabled UCLA to erase a 32-26 halftime lead.

"It was competing, in general, and competing to win and playing with pride, and that's what we got away from (in the first half)," Afflalo said. "When this team plays that kind of basketball, this is what you're going to get. When you have the type of personnel we have ... there's nothing wrong with playing that style of basketball."

[...]

"In the back of my mind, all I could think about is how people talk about Arizona's death run," said Afflalo, in reference to how a team such as the Wildcats uses a game-changing run to put away an opponent. "I was like, 'Man, this is what we're doing right now.' It's because we were playing selflessly, and we were competing. We weren't doing that in the first half."
First half was dismal to say the least. Also dismal as usual - was butterball Mike Fey. Fey "started" the game - but played a grand total of 7 mins. Hollins came in later. He apparently got the message from Howland after last week's pathetic outing against USC and ended up playing 25 mins and 6 boards. Luc as usual had a good game but DC finally had a great game since the Arizona game, finishing with 9 points. Let?s hope this kid is over his freshman wall and ready for the stretch drive in these last few games. For more on the game here is the ESPN box score, the BBR wrap up, and the LA Times wrap-up.

On to senior day. It will be time to celebrate Fellins last home game in UCLA uniform, but it will also be time to say goodbye to Cedric Bozeman, who despite some of his deficiencies is going to leave Westwood as one of my favorite Bruin hoopsters ever. Ced has been through a lot and to use a boring old sports clich? has come a long way.  But I am crossing my fingers he can leave as the Pac-10 champion. We have a shot. Lets hope the momentum from last night's second half carry us through Saturday putting us in a good frame of mind for the tough road games next week. GO BRUINS.