December 3, 2006
No. 1 ranked UCLA to take UCR
Concluding a week of non-conference games against local foes, the No. 1 ranked Bruins will take on UC Riverside on Sunday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion. The Highlanders come into the game with only one win over a Division-I team thus far this season in five tries, and were picked to finish last in their Big West conference before the year began.
Riverside is 0-3 on the road this season, and is shooting under 40% from the floor for the year as a team. They are led by point guard, Justin Bell, a 5-foot-10 senior from San Diego who is attempting more than eight three-pointers per game in the early going. While Bell leads the Highlanders in scoring at nearly 14 a night, his mate in the backcourt, Larry Cunningham, is on his heels in that category with a 13.1 average. Cunningham is a 6-foot-2 junior from Downey who has surprising rebounding ability for his size, pulling down over seven per contest.
The Highlanders also feature a product of Cameroon named Benoit Bekono, a freshman who has started all the games he's played in, and is the team's third leading rebounder at 6.5 per contest. The last time the Bruins played against a countryman of Cameroonian's Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Alfred Aboya was Joakim Noah of Florida, whose grandfather is a football legend in the small African country. Somehow one gets the impression that this game won't be as much of a challenge as that one was.
This will be a good opportunity to get some of the Bruin big men some much needed confidence as the team heads towards conference play at the end of this month. Aboya, Ryan Wright, and particularly James Keefe could use the positive encouragement which would come from a few low-post baskets.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial