UCLA sophomore guard Arron Afflalo hopes his teammates learned a lesson from a near collapse against an overmatched opponent.
The 16th-ranked Bruins will try to bounce back from a lackluster effort when they host winless Coppin State on Sunday.
Afflalo, the Bruins’ leading scorer with 17.8 points per game, had 22 in Wednesday night’s 73-65 victory over Albany. UCLA (4-1) appeared to be on its way to an easy rout before squandering a 19-point lead and falling behind briefly in the second half.
“It was immaturity,” Afflalo said. “Sometimes we just lose our focus. We can’t have lapses like that if we want to be an elite team.”
Senior Cedric Bozeman scored a season-high 16 points and freshman forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds for UCLA, which won its second straight since an 88-80 loss to No. 8 Memphis on Nov. 23 in the Preseason NIT.
The Bruins shot 48.0 percent from the field and 10-of-21 from 3-point range against Albany, but also went a season-low 65.2 percent from the foul line.
Starting sophomore guard Jordan Farmar remains listed as day-to-day for the Bruins with an injured right foot after sitting out the Albany game. An MRI taken Monday showed a possible stress fracture, but another test Tuesday denied the original prognosis.
“There was some confusion,” Bruins coach Ben Howland said. “He does not have a stress fracture. It’s not a sprain that should keep him out much longer.”
Farmar, averaging 14.0 points and a team-leading 7.0 assists, hasn’t played since hitting the game-winning foul shot in UCLA’s 57-56 win over Drexel on Nov. 25 in the NIT consolation game.
Freshman Darren Collison is expected to replace Farmar at guard in Sunday’s starting lineup. In his second start against Albany, he had a season-high 10 points, three assists and two steals.
“I’m not really sure when I can play again,” Farmar said. “I don’t want to come back early and have it last all year.”
The Eagles (0-5) are coming off Tuesday’s 81-56 loss to Xavier, the third of eight consecutive road games for coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell’s team. Darryl Roberts and Tywain McKee scored 14 points apiece for Coppin State, which outrebounded the taller Musketeers 33-27.
Sophomore forward Darryl Proctor leads the Eagles with 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
After the Bruins, the Eagles will meet No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 12 Illinois the next two weekends. They won’t return home until Jan. 14, when they host Norfolk State.
This is the first meeting between the teams.