Thursday, January 10, 2008

Westbrook Leads Bruins To Win Over Huskies

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score | Photo Gallery

Sophomore Russell Westbrook made 6 of 7 from the field for a game-high 18 points to lead No.5 ranked UCLA to a 69-55 win over Washington at Pauley Pavilion before 11,421.

Not only did Westbrook do his share of the scoring, he also needed to step in to play point-guard for most of the second-half after Darren Collison had to leave the game shortly after halftime due to a hip pointer (hip contusion). Collison, who missed most of practice this week due to food poisoning, played just 18 minutes.

When asked if thought he'd be able to play on Saturday against Washington State, Collison said, "It hurts when I walk. It hurts a lot. I'm going to try to go, but I don't know."

The Bruins (15-1, 3-0) shot 52.2% from the field while holding the Huskies to 41.8% field goal shooting and just 2-10 (20%) on three-pointers.

Washington (9-6, 0-2) entered the game with the best three-point shooting percentage in the Pac-10 at 41%, but the Bruin defenders locked down on the perimeter. The Huskies' backcourt rotation combined for just 4 of 18 from the field. Senior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby, who came in shooting over 50% from beyond the arc, was thoroughly frustrated by the UCLA defense - especially Russell Westbrook, and finished the game 0-2 in 18 minutes.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added 17 points and 3 rebounds to the winning effort, in addition, due to the injury to Collison he had to defend the Huskies' point-guards on the perimeter at times. Earlier in the season, Coach Howland said he thought Mbah a Moute had the ability to guard at every spot, 1-5, on the court.

Mbah a Moute suffered another contusion to his knee and had ice on them after the game, but he is expected to play on Saturday.

Washington was led by big Jon Brockman who finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds. He clashed with UCLA's Kevin Love in the paint for most of the evening. Love finished with 11 points on 3-6 shooting, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. Although Brockman scored more points than Love, the Huskies' forward had more touches (7 of 14) as a result of his team's inability to score from the perimeter.

Forward Alfred Aboya was more of a foul-magnet than usual on Thursday, fouling out of the game in just 9 minutes. Aboya's foul trouble resulted in more playing for James Keefe who had played just four minutes in the past two games since coming off his redshirt.

The sophomore forward from Santa Margeurita earned 17 minutes of action, and played solid defense for the most part. Although Keefe was caught out of position twice which resulted in two backdoor layups by Washington's Quincy Pondexter, however, Keefe played good post defense, in one instance blocking Pondexter's short baseline turnaround shot.

Josh Shipp scored 9 points but seemed out of rhythm most of the evening shooting just 1 of 4 from beyond the arc. Coach Howland said in post game comments he thought Shipp was not following through enough on his shots.

The Bruins continued their recent stellar shooting from the free throw line, shooting 90.5% (19-21) from the charity stripe in the game. The team is now shooting over 75% from the line this season.

Led by Kevin Love's team-high 7 rebounds, UCLA outrebounded Washington 32-26.

UCLA now faces the No.4 ranked Washington State Cougars (14-0, 2-0) in a rare early afternoon game Saturday at Pauley Pavilion. The Cougars took care of USC at the Galen Center on Thursday night, 73-55, to remain undefeated.

(photo credit: AP)



At Jan 10, 2008, 4:09:00 PM, Anonymous D B said...

Nice to see the Bruins started off the game better this game. Hope Collison is ok cause we need him bad sat.
It will really start the Pac 10 well if ucla can beat teh washington schools and set a tone for the rest of the season.
Very nice to see Luc did his thing tonight and the Bruins shooting the free throws better.
Goodluck SAT!

At Jan 10, 2008, 4:13:00 PM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Aboya, you are killing me fouling out with 9 minutes left.
Westbrook - u r a stud and I concede...the best athlete we have (not Shipp).
Keefe, watch those backdoor passes.
There was absolutely no flow to the game and Saturday is going to be a close yawner.
Is the game at 11:30am or 7:30pm vs. Washington St.??? The scoreboard tonight said 7:30pm....
Keep rollin Bruins...

At Jan 10, 2008, 4:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this site and ucla site says 11:30am. I think its part of the pac-10 tripleheader on Saturday.

At Jan 10, 2008, 9:13:00 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

Shipp's shooting comes and go. Collision needs to shut it down until he is well. We are okay as long as our defense continues to play well. With Howland guiding, that's every game! Go Bruins and beat the cougars!

At Jan 10, 2008, 11:26:00 PM, Anonymous J said...

Whats the Collinson update? Will he be ready to go against Wash St?

At Jan 11, 2008, 12:36:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Howland has a pressor scheduled later this after, we'll get an update on Collison and report it.

At Jan 11, 2008, 1:19:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aboya didn't just foul out with 9 minutes left; he fouled out in 9 minutes of total playing time...

At Jan 11, 2008, 1:47:00 AM, Anonymous Brad said...

sometimes Aboya plays defense like Mo disciplines Curly!

At Jan 11, 2008, 2:25:00 AM, Anonymous Ron said...

Very dissapointed with the lack of D towards the end of the game. They need to maintain their intensity for 40 minutes. Collison needs to stop driving aimlessly to the bucket and they need to maintain better spacing on O

At Jan 11, 2008, 2:45:00 AM, Anonymous BruinBlue said...

I thought the same thing about their poor spacing especially when they tried to get it into Kevin Love. I'm glad they're trying to get it to him but the angles, the spacing resulted in some turnovers.

At Jan 11, 2008, 3:39:00 AM, Anonymous Dexter Fishmore said...

First off, good win for the Brus last night. I was glad to see them take a businesslike approach to disposing of an inferior team.
BBR, I'm hoping you could comment a bit on Keefe's offensive game. Clearly, he has not had a lot of run in his UCLA career so far, but on offense he really looks lost right now. What exactly are his offensive skills? I'm not meaning to be too harsh on the guy, as he's obviously working his way back from injury, but when he's on the court these days we're kind of playing 4-on-5 when we have the ball.

At Jan 11, 2008, 4:05:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

If not later this season but certainly next season, Keefe will be a steady contributor to the team. He is not at top physical conditioning nor has he regained the weight and muscle he added before the injury.
Thought he played rather well against the Huskies considering it was just his third game back. Once he gains additional reps in practices and games, you'll see a different James Keefe.
Keefe gives you a solid rebounder and a player who buys into the Howland scheme of giving up yourself for the team. He's selfless and willing to give up a shot for a screen out or a pass to a teammate.
In a way, people don't appreciate Luc Richard Mbah a Moute for all the little things he does on the court that don't show up in the box scores - Keefe's case is similar.
Offensively, he's still more of a face-up post player, and has good range out to the three-point line. He would be very well suited to play at the offensive high post. Although over the next two seasons, it would be preferable to have him develop some low post skills.
Give him some time to get back into his game and physical condition. If you recall, he was a big factor for UCLA during the NCAA tournament last season

At Jan 11, 2008, 5:37:00 AM, Anonymous Bruin Basketball Report said...

Re: Darren Collison and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Coach Howland just said at his pressor that he had no update on either player's injuries. He may have some information later this afternoon.

At Jan 11, 2008, 6:20:00 AM, Anonymous tvo said...

Collison will either be playing hurt or not at all, and Luc may be gimpy. The Bruins will need to give WSU a HUGE dose of Kevin Love. If we have trouble getting the ball to him inside then bring him out to the wing or top of the circle and give him the green light. I'd like to see him touch the ball every time down the court. We can return to balanced scoring when all the principal players are healthy. Go Bruins!

At Jan 11, 2008, 6:53:00 AM, Anonymous Ben Howland said...


At Jan 11, 2008, 6:57:00 AM, Anonymous BruinsWin! said...

Man I hope Collison heals up quick...he's already had a rough go of it this year. He's my favorite player on the team but I have to say that Westbrook has been an absolute BEAST this year. What a great player he has turned into. Ya gotta love how masterful Howland is at getting the younger guys a lot of minutes to get them in game experience like he did with Westbrook last year and Collison two years ago. They just seem like they are more than ready to step up when needed.
Also, nice to see Luc step it up. I can't remember the last really good game he had.....seems like it was his freshman year because he just wasn't the force we needed him to be last year.
Aboya has always seemed like a liability out there to me. He has had a few good games but more often than not he is fouling and not really contributing much. I hope he gets it together going forward.
Lastly, I need to give props to Mata....he has really become a smart player who has learned how to use his size well. He's really a presence on D and I have to compliment him on being a real team player with Love coming in to be the starting big man. Not every player would react that well.


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