Sunday, December 02, 2007

Bruin Second Half Rally Falls Short, Lose 63-61

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

With eight seconds remaining, Texas' D.J Augustine's jump shot was an airball but teammate Damion James was there to slam home the game winner as No.8 Texas upset No.1 UCLA, 63-61, before 12,048 at Pauley Pavilion.

Damion James finished the game with a double-double scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, and seemed to hit key shots in the second-half when the Longhorns needed a basket. Augustin added 19 points and 4 assists.

"I stumbled, but I knew Damion was down there," Augustin said. "I threw it up for him to rebound and put it up or finish it with a dunk and that's what he did."

UCLA fall to 7-1 and had their 25-game home winning streak snapped.

As expected, the Longhorns packed it tight inside with a zone defense, but the Bruins struggled scoring against it for most of the first-half. They went scoreless for seven minutes midway through and finished the half behind with a big deficit, 37-25.

The Bruins shot only 38% from the field in the half (10-26) and were outrebounded 19-13. In the meantime, the Longhorns shot 53% in the first half.

In the second stanza, UCLA's defense tightened and the offense finally started scoring consistently against the 2-3 Texas zone by flashing players to the high post and attacking the zone from there. The Bruins went on a 16-3 run and took its first lead in the game 41-40 when Josh Shipp hit on a three-pointer with just over twelve minutes remaining in the game

The the two teams traded baskets for most of the rest of the half until Lorenzo Mata-Real lay-up with 1:25 left in the game put the Bruins up 61-58.

But then Texas's forward/center Connor Atchley hit a long three-pointer straightaway to tie the game with 1:04 left.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was fouled with 0:29 seconds remaining but missed the front end of a one-and-one to set up the game winning slam by Jones.

"That's on me," Mbah a Moute said. "I haven't been to the line a lot. I've been making them in practice."

The Bruins had one more chance to win the game on its last possession but Mbah a Moute's three-point shot bounced long off the rim.

Mbah a Moute was the team's leading scorer with 14 points. He also grabbed 7 rebounds.

Four Bruins scored in double-figures. Darren Collison, in just his second game back from a knee injury, scored 12 points while Josh Shipp added 11.

Freshman Kevin Love struggled again getting touches against an aggressive zone defense. He finished with 11 points on just 4-6 shooting. Love, who averaged 10.6 rebounds coming into the contest, had just 5 rebounds.

"I need to seek the ball out more," he said. "I only played 24 minutes, but five rebounds on my part is unacceptable. I should at least have 10 rebounds every game."

In addition, Texas did a good job of neutralizing Love at the start of the game by isolating him on the perimeter with his opposite number, 6'10, 225lb Connor Atchley, who easily took Love off the dribble on a couple of drives to the basket. Atchley also beat Love down the court for easy transition baskets at the start of the game.

For the first time this season, UCLA was outrebounded by an opponent with Texas edging the Bruins on the board, 27-26.

In the game, the Bruins shot 44.2% from the field but just 28.6% (8-21) from three-point distance.

Michael Roll made his season debut for UCLA after rupturing the plantar fascia in his left foot during preseason practice. He played five minutes in the first half.

UCLA does not play again until December 8 when they travel to the Honda Center to face Davidson in the annual John R. Wooden Classic.

(photo credit: AP)



At Dec 2, 2007, 1:32:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

I have to give credit to Texas. They are a good team. That Augustine kid can sure play. It makes me wonder BBR, how strong and confident is Collison with his knee? We/He could not stop any dribble penetration the first half.
I noticed Roll only played 5 minutes. He looked awful. I am glad he didn't play at all after that.
Love needs more touches.
Mbah is still sleep walking....your stats across the board every game are terrible this year my "future pro." U don't look comfortabloe out there and I'm gonna ride you all season.
Oh, and this is without another last second 3 to win. Stop doing that!!
I'm glad we lost. We can start a new win streak. We are not going to be undefeated. UT is a good team. We won't lose until the Pac 10, if that....
Pauley was rockin...3rd level fans were going nuts...good times....
thanks for the recap...I want a rematch w/ UT in the Final Four when we are 100% healthy....

At Dec 2, 2007, 1:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The team didn't show up in the first half.
Game over.

At Dec 2, 2007, 3:08:00 PM, Anonymous Seitz said...

Oh, and this is without another last second 3 to win. Stop doing that!!
Umm, he got the ball on the wing with about two seconds to go. Would you rather he just held onto it and let the clock run out?

At Dec 2, 2007, 5:25:00 PM, Anonymous Bob said...

I'd rather that UCLA be up by 10 pts with 2 seconds left and then yes... I would rather he would just hold onto it and let the clock run out!

At Dec 2, 2007, 7:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a "good" loss in a sense that it will teach us some lessons in time for the conference games.

At Dec 2, 2007, 9:22:00 PM, Anonymous Bob said...

UCLA did not deserve to win this game as poorly as they played in the first half. I understand the arguement that, "this is a good loss as it will give a wake up call... blah blah blah". What I don't understand is WHY such a wake-up call is even necessary. The team should be up for these kinds of games.
There is no excuse for a 12 min span without scoring a SINGLE field goal - NONE. Yes, Darren was rusty, yes it was Roll's first game back, etc., etc., etc. But rarely is a team without some sort of problems during the year. Darren is a pre-season All American - he HAS to score. Roll, if his game is off, then don't bring him in for this HUGE game. Let him warm-up against the likes of U.C. Davis or Western Illionis.
Think about it however, UCLA went 12 mins without scoring a field goal and still had a chance to WIN the game with the last shot. That is amazing! Especially against a team that had won ALL of its previous games by 15+ points.

At Dec 2, 2007, 10:33:00 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

Hey Ben, Why do you keep taking Love out of the game on defense, he can play D & rebound just fine and he only had 3 fouls? Who takes out there best players in crunch time, especially with no timeouts left? Also, it's ok to save a timeout at the end of a close game. Your a great coach Ben, but you got out coached this game. As for Mbah a Moute, stick to your strengths around the basket, your not Dirk Nowitzki. Texas played well but the Bruins will still cut down the nets in March! Go Bruins!

At Dec 2, 2007, 11:22:00 PM, Anonymous Brad said...

Love would have blocked that guy out at the end of the game. I'm not sure what Mata was thinking. As for Daren he's a good player Augustine is better. I guess UT is a lot better in the paint than previewed! The game was won there!

At Dec 2, 2007, 11:48:00 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

Mata-Real normally is a solid rebounder but I agree with you Brad. Love would have blocked that guy out. How about Mbah a Moute,he makes one big 3 vs M.St now he's hanging around the 3-point line??? I know he worked on his outside shooting all summer but let's keap it real Moute. Look at Shack, he's been shooting a ton of extra free throws for years and he still sucks. Moute's a very good player if he stays within himself.

At Dec 3, 2007, 1:20:00 AM, Anonymous Grant said...

Hey, enjoyed reading your postgame and previews. My friend and I flew into LA from Austin for the game. Awesome atmosphere once the crowd got into it in the second half, and it was very cool to see a game at Pauley Pavilion. Anyway, my friend Ryan has not missed a UT basketball game in over 2 years, and he runs a blog very similar to yours. Check it out if you'd like,

At Dec 3, 2007, 4:42:00 AM, Anonymous Don said...

Grant, have to agree the atmosphere was great, the UT fans represented with class and as a Buin fan, I apppreciated that....

At Dec 3, 2007, 4:44:00 AM, Anonymous Don said...

BBR, Jerry's was crawling with recruits before the game... Was that Jeremy Tyler sitting with the wears during the game? Also, couldn't place who the big kid from Brea Olinda was? Also, thought I saw Reeves Nelson at the game. any others I missed?

At Dec 3, 2007, 8:14:00 AM, Anonymous Jim said...

The fans might have been classy but the players were anything but. I hope they gain some maturity, they seemed to only care about gloating about this win. Can't wait to see our fab4 and whoever remains lay a beat down in Austin next year

At Dec 3, 2007, 9:47:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

The UT big men beat the Bruins with their speed and a good coach strategy.
Barnes realized his undersized frontline was not going to outmuscle the Bruins in the paint, instead he capitalized on their quickness.
Kevin Love was pulled in the opening minutes of the game because Texas'Connor Atchley was taking him outside and going around him too easily off the dribble to the basket. Love played 24 mintues because his defense was addition to his inability to stay with the faster Longhorns, he was hedging too slowly off the screens which allowed the Texas guards to get to the basket too easily.
In addition, forward Damion Jones used his quickness to run curls all night off screens for uncontested 12 foot jumpers against slower UCLA forwards defenders-- only Mbah a Moute was effective in stopping Jones...and IMO, Mbah a Moute should have played him the entire game.

At Dec 3, 2007, 9:58:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Yes that was Jeremy Tyler. The big kid Brea Olinda is Kyle Caudill.

At Dec 3, 2007, 1:38:00 PM, Anonymous Brad said...

BBR, Solid analysis. Love shouldn't be in a huge hurry to jump to the NBA. That whole league is filled with quick bigmen that are better than Jones. And the many scouts that took in the game Sunday made a mental note of that. I'll be the first or maybe not to say Love needs to lose 20 lbs. and work on his mobility. Thats the weak part of his game.

At Dec 3, 2007, 1:58:00 PM, Anonymous Powerharp said...

So where was Nikola Dragovic when we needed a zone buster? We've been reading all season about how much he has improved. We were hosed by the refs a few times, but what else is new. The refs did not put a lid on the basket during the 12 minute drought. Being outquicked is unnerving; it messes with your ego and the Bruins need to leave that in the locker room. Why didn't Josh Shipp try to pass to Love near the end when Love was open? You need to clog the passing lanes to keep the quicker opponent from getting the rock. Mata-Real is a man to be reckoned with.

At Dec 3, 2007, 3:05:00 PM, Anonymous clyde devins said...

Hats off to Texas ... say what you want they went into Pauley and got a win. They out shot and out rebounded the Bruins. I was at the game and reviewed once on tape and I believe UCLA is still the better team. It just seemed like quite a few breaks just didn't go their way. That's basketball. A few bonehead plays I thought. For example - A) Collison not picking up Augustine at half court when he walked up and drained a three. B) And then compounded that by trying to match it immediately with his own three instead of setting up offense and winding the clock down since UCLA had the lead. C) Mata-Real letting anybody near the basket for a tip in. They cleared out that whole side of the court and the Bruin defense went with them instead of leaving a safety value for just that sort of thing. I thought Collison played outstanding defense on Augustine as did Westbrook on Abrams. In fact other than the mentioned three and I believe one other garbage loose ball three Augustine had ... the only points he had were against Shipp who was just not quick enough to guard him. James stepped it up for Texas and deserves to praised. Bottom line though UCLA dominated the second half on defense and heart and it really just came down to the ball bouncing funny their way. One other note ... I hope the guards and the rest of the team would work on their entry passes to love either at the high or low post. I saw great opportunities missed and lousy opportunities forced. Something to work on. Nothing to really feel ashamed about. Lost to a very good team. Learn what you need to from this and move on. Great things ahead and lots of excitement coming up in the Pac-10.
Seeing Jerry West at Jerry's Deli and many of the high recruits was pretty neat.

At Dec 3, 2007, 5:40:00 PM, Anonymous dee said...

luc went from hero to goat... his play at the beginning of 2nd half was what pulled us back into the game... but the missed 1 and 1 with 29secs and the missed game winning shot lost it for us... love looked really tired towards the end of the past few games i guess really got hacked alot down low... couldn't blame mata for not blocking out... sometimes i just don't get howland's coaching logic... don't get why we need the half time break to understand how to break the zone... why can't a timeout solved it? and why the guards and wing are so tentative when trying to pass the ball into the post even if it's not love, i think aboya and mata still can do some good things around the rim, it better than shooting 25% from 3pt land... good thing is that the Bruins can only get better from here on, and we can compete easily with a NCAA #2 seed even when we are not at full strength

At Dec 3, 2007, 6:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stupid loss for the Bruins. They should take lessons and make sure they never come out that lazy again.

At Dec 4, 2007, 8:15:00 AM, Anonymous Richard said...

Westbrook and Love plays with chemistry. When Westbrook is running the one, UCLA looks more comfortable. Therefore, we will see more upsets, until Love and Westbrook are leading the way. Yes, Westbrook has some problems with turnovers. But he brings the bang, too the team. He motivates, claps, screams, shouts, and dunks. UCLA needs a hype man like that. For example, when we play other teams such as Floridia, Ohio, they will bring the bang.


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