Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bruins Refuse To Cry Foul

Three times he was asked. Three times Coach Ben Howland said he wasn't going to talk about the officiating in Saturday's loss at Washington, a game in which each team challenged everything the other tried.

But according to senior center Ryan Hollins, who fouled out in just 17 minutes, Howland did talk about it for nearly 15 minutes in a closed-door session after the game.

"He told us we can't play to the officials, we can't gripe or complain," said Hollins, extracted from a possible technical-foul situation when Howland sprinted onto the floor to separate him from the Huskies' Ryan Appleby.

"A couple of our guys thought they got pushed in the back with no call, but we have to play through that," Hollins said. "Sure the referees really took the game over, but you've got to learn from that. Look it up and all it will say is 'Washington (70), UCLA (67).' "

Asked about the 54 fouls and 63 free throws that made a fast-break basket a rarity, Howland twice said he had no comment.

On the third try, Howland expanded on his refusal to comment on a game that was called both tightly and loosely by the Pac-10 crew of Bill Kennedy, Tony Padilla and Michael Irving, and very inconsistently.

"I am required by law to handle it the way I am," Howland said after seeing blood-drawing slashes requiring bandages that were missed and phantom fouls that were called. Press-Enterprise/Dan Weber



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