Thursday, March 06, 2008

UCLA Climbs Mountain For Overtime Win Over Stanford

By KS Wong
Bruin Basketball Report

Box Score

Trailing by 12 points at the half and double-digits most of the way, UCLA rallied to take the game into overtime and then broke away from Stanford for an emotional 77-67 victory before a raucous crowd of 12,671.

UCLA (27-3, 15-2) won its third consecutive regular-season title under Coach Ben Howland and put itself in solid position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Tied at 63 after regulation, UCLA dominated during the overtime period. The first Bruin basket happened when Luc Ricahrd Mbah a Moute dunked off Collison’s pass to put UCLA up 65-63, its first lead since starting the game 2-0. From there, the Bruins took control during the overtime, outscoring the Cardinal 14-4.

Darren Collison tipped in his own missed lay-up for a go-ahead basket in overtime. He finished with a game-high 24 points on 9 of 16 shooting. For most of the time, it was Collison's play that kept UCLA in the game.

Stanford raced out to a 12-2 lead at the start of the game and extended it to 28-14 on seven straight points.

UCLA was held to a season-low 18 points in the first half, shooting just 32% from the floor. The Lopez twins, Brook and Robin, blocked or altered a number of Bruin shot attempts in the paint. At the same time, the Bruin players were misfiring from outside.

Josh Shipp continued his shooting slump, finishing just 1 of 9 from the field and 1 of 6 on three-pointers for 7 points.

During halftime Bruin players and coaches reminded themselves and others that the game was still within reach and it was simply a matter of UCLA playing its game on both ends of the court.

However, Stanford started the second as dominant as they were in the first. Robin Lopez’s basket pushed Stanford’s lead back to 14 early in the second half.

Led by Kevin Love and Darren Collison, UCLA went on a 25-13 to cut the lead to 45-43 with over nine remaining in the contest. But Stanford answered the challenge with an 11-2 run that kept the team ahead 56-45.

UCLA ran off eight straight points to close within three points with 3:17 remaining in regulation. Reserve forward Taj Finger scored four straight for Stanford, including a shot that luckily banked in for a 60-55 lead.

Russell Westbrook got fouled in the scramble for Lopez’s miss and made one of two free throws to tie the game at 61. Westbrook's first free-throw took a high Don Nelson-like bounce off the rim before falling through the net.

Stanford's Lawrence Hill then hit a shot with 7.5 seconds left for a 63-61 lead, and then with 2.5 seconds remaining, Collison drove hard to the basket and was fouled on the play by Lawrence Hill. Collison, a 82% FT shooter, made both shots to force the game into overtime.

Freshman Kevin Love recorded his 19th double-double, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while battling both Lopez twins throughout the game.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute struggled defensively against the big Stanford front line in the first half but came out in the second with renewed vigor. The junior forward finished with his own double-double, 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Mbah a Moute's strong inside play, especially defensively, was one of the keys to the Bruins comeback.

Sophomore Russell Westbrook struggled offensively at the start, but helped to spark the second half rally by going to the basket and challenging the Cardinal trees underneath. He finished with 19 points on 7 of 12 shooting on a number of acrobatic shots. Towards the end of overtime period, Darren Collison found Westbrook on the break for a rousing dunk that put an exclamation point on the Bruin comeback victory.

Coach Howland shortened the player rotation dramatically, only playing seven players in the game including two reserves, Alfred Aboya and Lorenzo Mata-Real. Both players combined to play just 17 minutes of action.

UCLA now awaits a challenge from the California Bears on Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at Pauley Pavilion. The Bears lost a decision to USC on Thursday night, 93-89 in overtime.

(photo credit: AP)



At Mar 6, 2008, 5:40:00 PM, Anonymous clyde said...

O.K. I'll say it. What a fricken ugly game. Big thanks to Collison and Love for playing big down the stretch - they willed us a win. Period. Third pac-10 title in a row. That's certainly nice. I have to scratch my head after reviewing the game and wonder how a team that can't hit open shots keeps winning. Go figure. I'll take the scoreboard - along with the severe chest pains that go with it. Wow.

At Mar 6, 2008, 8:30:00 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

It was a foul, no doubt. Stanford's player rose up, with his hand got all ball; however, he had all body on Collison. Sportscenter's replay had the view of the play, the ref's view.
Our offense desperately needs to get on track. It will against Cal.

At Mar 6, 2008, 10:22:00 PM, Anonymous dan-o said...

what has happened to shipp?! they desperatley need to get the three point shooting on track if they want another banner. hopefully cal and the tournament will be an opportunity to work out the kinks (and beat arizona for an eighth straight time).

At Mar 7, 2008, 12:43:00 AM, Anonymous willis said...

So, UCLA gets zero points from their bench, only uses 7 players, shoots 66.7% from the line, gets outrebounded, Shipp has another terrible game (Including missing the front end of a one-on-one late), Aboya and Mata-Real cannot hit a free throw, Aboya misses an ill-advised shot late, etc....So how did UCLA win?!? They won with a lot of heart, a ton of Collison, a whole lot of Love and a little bit of Luc. I am sure Stanford would say the refs played too big of a role, and they'd be right. You don't make that call on Hill with 2.4 seconds left, just like they did not blow the whistle on the other end 5 seconds earlier when Hill charged on Love before he put in the shot that put Stanford ahead by 2.
The Bruins seem to be blessed right now, but their luck will run out. Shipp's gotta get it going and a bit more from Mata-Real/Keefe/Aboya won't hurt either. Their defense and heart can only carry them so far!

At Mar 7, 2008, 12:46:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No Shipp, no championship. Bruins better not tank the Pac-10 tourney to rest. They need to keep it rolling and get Josh back on track.

At Mar 7, 2008, 1:22:00 AM, Anonymous JonW said...

Thanks for the video BBR of that controversial play with Hill and Colison. That was definitely a foul on Hill. He hit him with the body...he gained advantage over Collison by doing so. Foul!

At Mar 7, 2008, 2:37:00 AM, Anonymous geoff said...

The last call may have been controversial, but what about the rest of the game? The referees for that entire game were iffy at best, and there was A LOT going in Stanford's favor. You can't blame a missed call that put the game into overtime. Standford had the momentum the entire game, so it shouldn't have even been that close. It was decided in overtime, not by the refs, and the Bruins prevailed!
Way too close for comfort. hopefully Shipp and the rest of the team can get something going against Cal to go into the PAC-10 tourney running on all cylinders. GO BRUINS!

At Mar 7, 2008, 2:40:00 AM, Anonymous Double R said...

Wow what a game! I almost had heart attack. There were some bad calls that entire game. I am just happy that the call wasn't against us when it really mattered. We got away with one this time! I hope during tourney time our guy's shots start going down. There is no way we can go deep shooting in the 30% range even with a suffocating D. Collison, Love, and Westbrook came big in the second half. When Collison and Westbrook are aggressive and attack the basket good things happen. I hope they can do this throughout the whole game not just in the second half when we are down.

At Mar 7, 2008, 2:54:00 AM, Anonymous smilin said...

I don't think we got away with anything, any more than Stanford got away with the bucket that put them up 63-61. That was a CHARGE. So it evens up.
This isn't hockey. A foul, going to the basket at 7.5 seconds is the same as a foul (with the body - good video) at 2.5 seconds.
Stanford gagged down the stretch. And I agree with the intentional foul on RW. Too often that isn't called, and the SF guard ripped RW down / twisted him around by his shoulder.

At Mar 7, 2008, 3:04:00 AM, Anonymous Double R said...,-little-luck
A little excerpt...
Truth be told, Collison thought the call — a foul on the shot — was a gift.
"That was a complete block," he said. "We were fortunate to get that call."
"We'll take it," said Love.
The better team did win! I'll take that anyday!

At Mar 7, 2008, 3:47:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm tired of hearing that the Bruins 'got lucky' or 'got away with something'. Every time we tried to get some momentum going there was some ridiculous call made against us. As far as I'm concerned we would have won in regulation if the officiating had been less 'iffy'. I hope that one ref had to give stanford their money back.

At Mar 7, 2008, 3:58:00 AM, Anonymous dee said...

give shipp a break... he was never a 3-pt shooter and he shouldn't be a 3pt shooter... the things shipp does best is slashing towards the basket, his freshmen year, last year... that is what he brings to the team... leadership, unselfishness, high bball IQ, the intangibles... he's a good shooter no doubt, but no any better than westbrook or collison... i think it's the media that gives him the impression that he has to take the 3... whatever shipp just skip the 3 and slash to the basket... this past game good things always happen when he drive towards the basket... got fouled... passed to an open teammate... and in addition... his attitude has been great even though he has dropped from the 1st option on offense to probably the 4th behind love, collison, westbrook... so everyone should give him a break
as for the game, we got as many no calls as stanford did... and even if he was a clean block, we still get the ball out of bounds with 2.5secs left which still give us a very good chance to tie or win the game with the momentum on our side... we had more poise and more heart... it's kinda sad that stanford players gave up with 45secs still left on the clock and only 5points behind...
and finally i was right... mata-love combo didn't work because we need to play our game and have them to adjust to ours instead of having to adjust to their style of playing... with 2 7footers lagging behind in transition collison wreck havoc... and the game was also won on the boards where we were on par with stanford (stanford's opponent get outbounded by almost 10 a game) and surprisingly we beat them on off reb... and brook lopez actually was defended quite well he was like 7/22 which is amazing because i thought he was hitting everything that game...
as long as we don't meet a team that's more atheletic than we are... we have a good chance to go far

At Mar 7, 2008, 4:25:00 AM, Anonymous jake said...

Sorry ... can't go easy on Shipp. I want a national championship!!! Shipp is playing very tentative the last month when slump started - and you can only get away with that for so long. You are right he does drive to the hole well but you still need to knock down open shots on this level. It also comes down to shot selection. Putting up 3-pointers 7-8 feet beyond the arc is just not high percentage. Would like to see him move around on offense and try to put himself about a foot behind the arc for a catch and shoot instead of 5-10 feet. There are times where I see him have cement feet on offense. I think that contributes. Move around a bit more and get into a position where if/when you do receive the ball you are in the position to square up and shoot. Drago has the same issues I believe.

At Mar 7, 2008, 6:13:00 AM, Anonymous dee said...

well that's because we don't run plays for shipp to set up his 3 pointer any more, we use to run the same baseline screen for affalo for shipp earlier in the season but we stopped doing that because team learn how to defend it... maybe now that it has been shelved for a while we can bring it back again.. shipp is a smooth type of player who requires to be in rhythmn to make his shots... if u see that one 3 he made in the game he was in a smooth motion... he's not a spot up 3 point shooter... not him, not collison, not westbrook... championship are not won on the 3pt line there are lots of other intangibles... as of now we are as good as or even better than the top teams in the country... we shouldn't go panic mode for shipp he just needs to gather his composure and confidence

At Mar 7, 2008, 7:22:00 AM, Anonymous tvo said...

We have been waiting for Shipp to get back on track for 8 games now. I don't know what Howland has been doing to get him out of this funk - probably encouraging him to play tough defense, drive to the hole, and take threes when open - but it does not appear to be working. Yesterday he not only could not hit 3-pointers, but also could not make layups or free throws.
I think it's time to shake things up. Howland needs to get in Shipps grill and tell him not to be such a pussy. I would bench him at the start of the Cal game in favor of Luc at the 3 and Aboya at the 4. Maybe he'll come off the bench MAD and determined, and stop playing SCARED.
Great game by the other four starters.

At Mar 7, 2008, 1:52:00 PM, Anonymous Brad said...

Coach Howland Is My Homeboy!...and Coach Howland does have to change up what he does offensively against teams that play them 2 to 3 times a year as opposed to tourny time when it's One and Done. I think you'll see Josh get more room to shoot in the tourny even though the defenses will be good. and please don't tell me that Aboya should replace Shipp as our scoring threat in the line-up because hes tough and catches basketballs with his face!

At Mar 7, 2008, 4:12:00 PM, Anonymous jake said...

Where is Keefe ??? Why is he getting no PT at all? Personally - I think he should be getting plenty of minutes because he is not timid about knocking down the 10-12 footers plus he rebounds etc. If they had no plans to use him this year why end his redshirt year? He is getting less minutes than his contributions last year - how pointless is that? I have a feeling he will come in handy come tourney time so why hasn't he been getting ANY minutes at all the last few games. Waste of a year for him. And I think he is a solid player that deserves more minutes than Aboya in my opinion.

At Mar 7, 2008, 5:08:00 PM, Anonymous dorianGraysBlues said...

shipp needs to forget about 3 pointers and start taking it to the hole. I thought he was a better scorer than afflalo when they were freshman because he was better taking it to the hole. and if he doesnt get all the way to the hole, take the 10 or 12 footer. After he gets his rythum he can make the three's. If he doesnt start going to the hole, he will never regain his touch, its been too too long to call it a slump.
also, keefe was jobbed by the coach. He should have been allowed to continue to redshirt. Coach panicked on this one and will regret it one day.

At Mar 8, 2008, 2:48:00 AM, Anonymous BruinFan said...

-go to the hole Shipp
-congrats Coach for the Pac-10 title
-I am a happy Bruin
all this talk about what we need can rest for a while
positive thoughts Bruin Nation...
where's the party?


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