Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bruins Cruise Past Beavers, 84-49

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score | Photo Gallery

Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 17 points and Darren Collison added 14 to lead UCLA to a thrashing of the Oregon State Beavers, 84-49, before 9,727 at Pauley Pavilion. 

Westbrook and Collison also combined for 16 assists in the game with Westbrook dishing out 7 and Collison recording a game-high 9 dimes.

In reality, the game was over before it even started.

A once proud program is in shambles due to ineffectual coaching and player desertions from the squad.  This season, the hapless Beavers (0-14, 6-20) do not have near the talent nor coaching to compete in the Pac-10 conference.

The Bruins (23-3, 11-2) jumped out to an early 10-4 lead shortly after tip-off and built it up to 49-27 by halftime.  In the second half, UCLA extended the lead to its biggest margin of 36.

Oregon State shot just 34.5% from the field.  They were outrebounded by UCLA, 39-20.  Guard Josh Tarver was the only Beaver scoring in double figures, finishing with 10 points.

UCLA shot 55.2% and was 5 of 14 from beyond the arc for 35.7%. 

Josh Shipp, mired in a shooting slump, continued his poor shooting from three-point land, missing on all four of his long-distance attempts.  Its obvious Shipp has lost some confidence with his shooting, in the game he appeared apprehensive to shoot whenever an outside opportunity was available to him. He finished with just 6 points.

Freshman Kevin Love barely missed another double-double going for 11 points and 9 rebounds in just 21 minutes of action.  Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had another solid game, finishing with 8 points on 4 of 5 shooting and hauled down 7 rebounds.

No Bruin played over 29 minutes in the contest. 

By the mid-seven minute mark in the second half, UCLA Coach Ben Howland had removed all his starters and the seats in Pauley Pavilion began emptying.

Reserve James Keefe had perhaps one of his best games since returning to the roster.  Keefe finished with 6 points and 7 rebounds, and just as importantly, looked more comfortable in the flow of the team's offense and defense. 

Senior Lorenzo Mata-Real played 18 minutes off the bench, scoring 11 points and blocking 3 shots.  In two consecutive possessions, Mata-Real scored one basket off a nice left-handed hook, and then next time down he scored on a right handed hook.

Walk-on Matt Lee helped to cap off the Bruins' scoring for the night with an alley-oop pass to freshman Chace Stanback for a slam dunk off a break.

UCLA will now prepare for their game against Oregon on Saturday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion.  The Ducks dropped their Thursday night contest to USC at the Galen Center, 81-75.

(photo credit: AP)



At Feb 21, 2008, 3:23:00 PM, Anonymous dee said...

how about all the talk that the entire starting lineup will leave for the nba if they win it all... even thought i have my doubts about shipp (solid but not spetacular) and LRMM (classic tweener). But Westbrook stocks are really rising, last time i check on, he's a top 10 pick which is amazing for a guy who was overlooked until the very end when he was a high school senior

At Feb 21, 2008, 3:51:00 PM, Anonymous BruinBly said...

I was really impressed with Mata-Real --- I loved his game today, lots of energy. Its too bad Howland can't find minutes for him. I think it would be great to have Love in the high post once in awhile and Mata in the low...if not for just 5-8 minutes to throw some variety in the offense.

At Feb 21, 2008, 9:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boring game. Even the announcers were just rambling on about whatever, not paying attention to the game. Hard to focus and enjoy when that happens. Too bad Or St. is so bad this year. This doesn't help the Pac-10's SOS or RPI ratings + doesn't prepare our team for the big dance. Really, there is nothing gained from a game like this. Thank goodness there were no known injuries. Could you imagine if we had lost Love in a nothing game like this?
Too much partity in the Pac-10. 6 teams will make the big dance, 3 others to the NIT, and Or St... well, fortunately for them their season will end.

At Feb 22, 2008, 5:56:00 AM, Anonymous Brew In said...

Didn't think we'd here from poster "O" today.
He's the guy who picked Oregon St to pull off the upset, and said he has been right every game so far, yet I found no proof of that here on the Bruin Basketball Report archives!
No victory suds for him today!

At Feb 22, 2008, 7:45:00 AM, Anonymous Bare Gunner said...

Good point BruinBly. There is nothing that instills a players confidence than when they get extended playing time. You can see that with Keefe and his increased minutes. But with Coach H's talent on this team, it is a real coaching feat just to rotate and sub at the right times! Ben is one of the best at that!


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