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Bozeman Emotional in Goodbye

February 27, 2006|Steve Springer | Times Staff Writer

The victory against Oregon was secure when UCLA wing Cedric Bozeman went to the free-throw line Sunday afternoon with 40 seconds to play, the Bruins ahead by 15.

But it was still a memorable moment for Bozeman, "bittersweet," as he put it.

Even as he made the two free throws to make the final score 70-53, he was aware that they were the final two points he would score at Pauley Pavilion, where UCLA closed its home season Sunday.

"It was tough to go up there," said Bozeman, a fifth-year senior. "I had mixed emotions."

UCLA honored its four seniors -- centers Ryan Hollins and Michael Fey and guard Janou Rubin along with Bozeman -- by bringing them out on the court with their families before the opening tipoff and then starting all of them.

Coach Ben Howland waited until 2:40 had elapsed before replacing Rubin and Fey with regular starters Arron Afflalo and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.

"I enjoyed myself [Sunday]," Bozeman said. "Now it's time to get back to basketball next week."

It will be a crucial week for the Bruins, who will play their final two conference games on the road, against California, one of the teams they are battling for the conference championship, and Stanford.


In addition to the seniors, the Bruins also paid tribute to their 1967-68 team, which won the fourth of coach John Wooden's 10 NCAA championships.

Among the former players on hand were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then known as Lew Alcindor), Lynn Shackelford, Lucius Allen and Mike Warren.


With 14 points and 10 rebounds, Mbah a Moute had his seventh double-double, a UCLA freshman record.


Thursday at California, 7:30 p.m., Haas Pavilion, FSN West -- The Bruins will go to Berkeley with a one-game lead over Cal and Washington in the Pacific 10 Conference standings.

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