UCLA Puts Up Good Fight But Lose To #1 Kansas
By Bruin Basketball Report
The Bruins played inspired ball against No.1 Kansas before falling to the Jayhawks, 73-61, on Sunday at Pauley Pavilion.
Although it was UCLA's fourth consecutive loss, putting them at 2-5 for the season, the Bruins showed improvement in their game, and most importantly, displayed some fight and passion on the floor.
UCLA started Malcolm Lee at point-guard, sitting down Jerime Anderson to start the game. In addition, freshman Reeves Nelson played with the ferocity that has already made him a crowd favorite.
Faced with playing All-American candidate big man Cole Aldrich and giving up at least four inches, Nelson promptly went around Aldrich for a lay-up to start the game.
The Bruins were competitive the entire game.
Eliminate some untimely turnovers and missed free throws (57.9%) and UCLA would have been going down the wire with the No.1 ranked team in the nation.
There were definitely UCLA green shoots to be seen on Sunday afternoon in Westwood.
Nelson was indeed a spark plug with 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assorted skin burns. Other highlights were Michael Roll's 16 points and Nikola Dragovic's 14 points and 7 rebounds.
Freshman Tyler Honeycutt made his debut and his passing and court-sense just seemed to make the offense operate better. Although he was rusty from the field (1-6), he did have 6 rebounds and 2 steals in just 19 minutes.
Kansas led by 13 points in the first half, when the Bruins committed 11 turnovers and shot 33 percent, missing several open shots. From there, the Bruins ended the half on a 12-6 run to close to 35-28. Dragovic and Roll had five points each in the spurt.
UCLA outscored Kansas 6-3 to start the second half and get to 38-34. Reeves Nelson, starting in place of Gordon, dunked to get the Bruins within seven with 14:40 remaining. He was poked in the right eye and had to leave the game for a few minutes before returning wearing protective goggles.
"He'll end up in the ER tonight as his eye was swollen shut," Howland said. "He's had a tough week, but he showed a lot of character to get back in the game."
The Bruins closed within seven once more on a 3-pointer by Dragovic at 12:03 before Kansas soon restored its double-digit lead.
The game was part of the Big 12-Pac-10 Hardwood Series.