Bruins Nip Bears In OT On Winning Shot By Roll
By Bruin Basketball Report
Senior Michael Roll hit a 12 foot shot with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime to lift UCLA to a 76-75 win over California at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley.
After Cal's Jamal Boykin banked in a shot to put the Bears up 75-74 with 21 seconds left, UCLA's Jerime Anderson came down the court and drove into the key but his pass was deflected, but fortunately for the Bruins, it went right to Roll who picked up the ball and made the game winner.
UCLA (7-8, 2-1) trailed for most of the game in a turnover plagued contest. The Bruins committed 17 turnovers from which the Bears converted into 25 points.
Coach Ben Howland employed primarily a 2-3 defensive zone against Cal, and it was effective on this evening with the Bears shooting only 2 of 18 from beyond the arc. Cal's sharpshooter Jerome Randle struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just 1 of 8.
The Bruins also struggled in the first half with its long distance shooting going 2 of 11 but turned it around in the second half to spark their comeback. UCLA shot 7 of 9 for 77.8% in the final half behind Michael Roll and Nikola Dragovic. Roll finished with 19 points and Dragovi added 18.
Freshman Tyler Honeycutt started the game in place of Jerime Anderson who was benched after arriving late to mandatory rehab appointments earlier in the week. Honeycutt responded with a team-high 10 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Fellow frosh Reeves Nelson was tough for the undersized Bears to handle in the paint. Nelson finished with 15 points. He would have been more effective, however, he was only 7 of 14 from the free throw line.
UCLA went into this game almost a two-touchdown underdog and it would have been easy for them to fold under the hostile conditions at Haas. But the young team hung tough for most of the game until they were able to rally with their three-point shooting
And for the second Pac-10 game this season, the Bruins showed they could indeed win by playing primarily zone defense.
This defense goes against Howland's deep preference for aggressive man-to man, however, he has to coach with the talent that exist on the team. And for now, or until opponents adjust, its the way the Bruins will have to play defense if they expect to win games this season.
UCLA faces Stanford on Saturday at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto.