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College Basketball | UCLA REPORT

Referees Have an Odd Game

February 16, 2003|Steve Henson | Times Staff Writer

TEMPE, Ariz. — Not that anyone believed it made a difference in the outcome, but the officiating Saturday was noticeably ... shall we say, awkward?

With UCLA trailing Arizona State by 12 points with five minutes left, Bruin center Ryan Hollins turned and prepared to dunk. A whistle blew, halting play and attention turned to the official.

"Inadvertent whistle," he said.

Hollins could only shake his head.

In the first half, Bruin guard Ray Young made a steal near midcourt and started racing for a layup. An official stepped in his path, they collided and the ball flew out of bounds.

The official regrouped and signaled that possession belonged to Arizona State.

Young could only shake his head.

"It was typical, the story of the game," Young said. "Right when you think you get a break, it didn't go our way."

Bruin Coach Steve Lavin compared the performance of the officials to that of his team -- which is hardly a compliment.

"Today's game was oddly officiated," he said. "Officials are like players, capable of struggling with their rhythm, cohesion and chemistry. Maybe it's contagious. We are struggling so much, it's spreading to the refs."

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Cedric Bozeman injured his right shoulder for the third time in the last three weeks. The Bruin guard departed five minutes into the game after getting fouled. Ryan Walcott replaced him and made one of the two free throws.

Bozeman told trainers he was fine but played only 12 minutes, scoring seven points.

"It's a bruise, that's all," he said. "When it gets hit, it hurts a lot. But it goes away."

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UP NEXT

Thursday vs. No. 22 California, 7:30 p.m., Fox Sports Net -- The Golden Bears, in second place in the Pacific 10 Conference, are led by forward Joe Shipp, who is averaging 21 points. Cal defeated UCLA, 80-69, at Haas Pavilion on Jan. 25.

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