FIU Forgets To Show Up, UCLA Rolls
By Bruin Basketball Report
The Florida International University Golden Panthers forgot to show up for their game at Pauley Pavilion against the UCLA Bruins, or at least it seemed so to many of the 8,940 in attendance on Saturday night.
UCLA freshman Jrue Holiday scored 20 points, making all eight of his field goal attempts, to lead the Bruins to a 89-54 thumping of the Panthers.
Holiday did all his damage in just 19 minutes of action.
The game was over before it started.
The Bruins raced out to a 26-5 lead halfway through the first half before going into halftime with a commanding 46-13 lead.
The Golden Panthers (3-4) were too slow and simply not talented enough to keep up with the Bruins. The disparity in talent level was exacerbated by seemingly poor FIU execution and coaching on both ends of the court.
To put it bluntly, FIU is a very bad team.
In the first half FIU shot just 3 of 19 for 15.8%. They scored more from their free throws - seven - than they did shooting from the field. Its best shooter Michael Dominguez was just 2 of 7 for 7 points as he was dominated all night by quicker and bigger defenders.
Panther forward Nikola Gacesa did score 21 points but most of it was during garbage time - which was basically the entire second half of play.
No UCLA player played more than 20 minutes and eleven Bruins played at least 10 minutes.
Darren Collison chipped in 11 points by hitting 4 of 5 from the field while Michael Roll was sharp from the field making all three of his three-point shots. Roll also had a number of nifty passes to teammates as he continues to show improvements in his game from last season.
All the Bruin freshmen got to play. Malcolm Lee, Jerime Anderson, and J'mison Morgan each scored 8 points while forward Drew Gordon finished with 4 points and 4 rebounds. But it was Holiday who was dominant as he scored most of his points on broken plays or loose balls, over-powering the Panther defenders.
UCLA shot a stunning 72% in the first half before settling down to a near-mortal 59.3% shooting in the second half. Many of the easy shots came off steals as the team finished with 11 steals in the game en-route to forcing 17 turnovers.
The Bruins were a bit sloppy in the open court themselves committing 16 turnovers.
Ultimately, this contest was perhaps nothing more than a confidence builder for the young Bruins who were returning from a disappointing 1-1 trip in New York. On the other hand, this game didn't do much in the way of preparing the Bruins for a tough upcoming game on Thursday against Texas in Austin.
The Longhorns beat the Bruins last year at Pauley Pavilion and although they lost D.J Augustin to the NBA they return their remaining starters this year.
(photo credit: AP)