Saturday, February 02, 2008

Bruins Steamroll Over Wildcats, 82-60

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score | Photo Gallery

Freshman Kevin Love dominated the interior on his way to 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead UCLA to a 82-60 rout of Arizona before 12,111 at Pauley Pavilion and a nationally televised audience.

Love's 13th double-double of the season was too much for the overmatched Wildcat frontcourt.

In an attempt to protect their center Jordan Hill from foul trouble, Arizona started 6'6 Bret Beirlmaier and used 6'6 Fendi Onobum off the bench against Love, and the freshman phenom from Lake Oswego had his way in the paint. Love was 9-12 from the field and 7-8 from the free line.

"He doesn't play like a freshman, does he?" UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "He is such a special player and is so hard to handle in the paint. The whole team did a good job feeding him the ball. He got a lot of second shots."

UCLA's offense was clicking again, as it has the last four games, on all cylinders, with players moving and making the extra pass to open teammates.

"We pressured the ball," UCLA's Darren Collison said. "We did whatever it takes to disrupt the other team's offense. We're playing team ball. That extra pass really counts."

Russell Westbrook abused Arizona's Chase Budinger all night on the offensive end, lighting up the Wildcat forward for 21 points on 10-13 shooting. Westbrook posted up the bigger Budinger and scored on him at will in the paint.

Collison added 12 points and 7 assists in the victory.

As good as UCLA's offense was in the game, their defense sparkled even brighter.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute blanketed Budinger who labored for 9 points and committed 3 turnovers. Mbah a Moute was assisted by good team defense on Budinger who was continually bumped off his route whenever he tried to curl off a screen to get open.

Budinger became so frustrated in the game that he was later called for a flagrant foul on a spineless play where he practically tackled Josh Shipp on a breakaway layup.

Arizona's leading scorer Jerryd Bayless found little room to shoot as well, he finished with just 13 points as Russell Westbrook and Darren Collison combined to frustrate the Wildcat freshman all night long.

Moreover, Westbrook and Collison's pressure defense on the perimeter was a big factor in the win as they kept the Wildcats off balance by forcing them to initiate the offense 10-15 feet further than they're normally used to.

UCLA had their game going from the outset, opening a 23-8 lead after the first nine minutes of the game. The Bruins held the Wildcats to just 32% in the first-half in route to a huge 42-22 halftime lead.

Halftime provided no respite for the Wildcats as they seemingly came out in the second-half already looking like a defeated team with no fight left in them. Arizona never got as close as 19 points the rest of the contest.

UCLA dominated in every facet of the game. They finished the game shooting a sizzling 57.1% from the field with most of their shots coming on layups and dunks. UCLA attempted only 10 three-pointers in the game - making just two.

The Bruins controlled the glass all night, outrebounding the Wildcats 35-23.

With the triumph over Arizona, the first-place Bruins move to 20-2 overall and 8-1 in the conference. The Widcats dropped to 15-7 and 5-4.

BBR Notes: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute sprained his left ankle with just over seven minutes remaining. Howland had no immediate update after the game.

(photo credit: AP)



At Feb 2, 2008, 3:01:00 PM, Anonymous tekkenboy said...

nice update, thanks wong as always great work.
like bilas said, there is no better team in the nation then ucla when healthy. i hope we get luc back soon.

At Feb 2, 2008, 3:17:00 PM, Anonymous clyde said...

I was at the game ... and I'm not sure you could see it on ESPN but Arizona Guard Wise is a punk. There I said it. I saw several punches he threw to different defenders that frustrated him.
Wow - what a great game. They seem to be playing much more as a team and spreading the ball around. I also like that they are pushing the ball a bit more taking advantage of Love's outlet ability.
Westbrook has just been phenomenal lately pushing the ball to the hole and hitting those short jumpers.
Collision FINALLY missed a free-throw.
I've seen all the teams now - and UCLA is in the class by themselves in a tough division. Hope the second half of the season plays out even better.

At Feb 2, 2008, 3:20:00 PM, Anonymous ASK said...

Luc, get healthy quick.
Josh, when your outside shot isn't hitting drive to the basket or slash. You fell in love with the 3 ball early and you aren't using all of your offensive weapons.
UCLA, great defense and you have learned to feed Love in the post and it shows. The last 4 games UCLA has looked their best under Howland. Keep up the D and let Love dominate down low.

At Feb 2, 2008, 4:12:00 PM, Anonymous dee said...

running plays to free up love in the post had been the difference the past few games which was actually a slight adjustment from those off-ball screens we ran for the wings earlier this year, now we just run them to free up the post... simply put when our offense runs through love, we are close to unstoppable. Hopefully Luc's twist wasn't as bad since he didn't roll over anything... the washington schools should be fine, but he will be sorely miss against the versatile bigs against cal, stanford and sc

At Feb 3, 2008, 1:33:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Arizona who? Those athletes in Oregon and Arizona just got worked!! We're going to go into your backyard and hand-pick your top recruits....
I smell a Final Four run...
After a title, we will be able to recruit nationally....
Bring it home Big Ben...
Love, I said 25/12...u listened...thanks
UCLA, I said win by 15...thanks
Exciting times to be a BRUIN...
Does anybody want to have a viewing party this coming THURSDAY for Washington State???? Name a bar???

At Feb 3, 2008, 2:56:00 AM, Anonymous ASK said...

Am I in the majority or the minority when I say, "I would rather watch UCLA games at home, alone, and with the remote close by so that I can rewind close plays and yell at the refs when needed"?
I have friends that like to go to bars and watch games with a crowd. I prefer to watch in the quitness of my living room so I can watch every play and listen for every update on foul trouble, injuries, etc.
What is your preference?

At Feb 3, 2008, 5:00:00 AM, Anonymous Smilin' said...

How about Buddinger doing the "Ole" when Love came steaming down the baseline for his slam that's highlighted here!
Think Ben would tolerate that from his players - not to defend and take a charge??? NFW. . .
Although I did think Arizona beat us off the dribble way too may times, but they couldn't finish. Some of that, especially in the 2nd half, may have been because the players knew the game was over after the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half and 'Zona didn't make a run.
Get well Luc Richard - you were popping some excellent mid-range jumpers yesterday!

At Feb 3, 2008, 5:10:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

Thursday vs. Washington State
Q's on Wilshire in Santa Monica...
Meet at 7pm...
Who's w/ me???
I'll email 95 other Bruins from my web-site....
First level...ask bartenders on first floor for RJ....

At Feb 3, 2008, 9:13:00 AM, Anonymous willis said...

Wow! Bruins were superb. Arizona folded up the tent and went home. Has to be the most embarassing game they have played in a looooooong time.
Right now the Bruins are the #1 team in the nation. Bilas is right. With Kansas' loss to KSU Bruins will move up to 4. If pollsters know what they're doing they'll also move them ahead of Duke into the #3 position.

At Feb 3, 2008, 5:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best game of the year yet. Bruins put on a CLINIC against the AZ schools. Pure domination. Too bad Wazzu couldn't pull it out in Pullman. Nevertheless, Bruins are rollin' right now so should have no problems against Stanford at home. I do worry about the next game. Odds of Wazzu losing THREE at home in a row??? Hmmmm... will be a VERY tough game. Too bad the polls don't take into account that when teams play UCLA - they ALWAYS bring their "A" games with them (unless their school name begins with an "A" that is :o)).
As for the polls. I think UCLA will stay at 5. Kansas lost, but will only fall to 4 with 1 loss overall. Think UCLA will be right behind them. That's ok. Duke vs UNC this week will knock one of those two down. UNC needing overtime to beat a bad Fl St. team - UNC has had WAY too many close games recently. However, good teams find ways to win and they keep on winning with or without their point guard.
The #1 seeds will be very important this year. There's a big gap between potential matchups of a #1 vs a #4 and a #2 vs a #3 seed.


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