Friday, January 06, 2006

UCLA 85; Arizona 79

Probably the most shocking result of the night (see below for the other two games of my three for three night), given the situation. Team on the road, struggling with injuries, playing an Arizona team that played an incredible second half at Washington on Saturday. But this is Arizona, and Illinois fans all over the land learned last year that they can occasionally be counted on to lose games they should win.

Terrific performance by all of the Bruins, as just about everyone who played contributed. They went nine deep tonight, with not one minute played by someone above the level of sophomore. Even Mike Roll and Alfred Aboya combined for 8 points in 12 minutes. LRMAM led the team in rebounding yet again, with another nine to go along with his eight points and three assists. One of the less heralded members of this freshman class, he's been outstanding and indespensible this season. Lo Mata (nine points, seven boards) continues to take the major strides that Fey and Hollins still have yet to take, probably relegating those two to major pine time even after they've healed. The super sophs combines for 54 of the 85 points, with Afflalo leading the way yet again with 20, supplemented by Shipp's 14 and Farmar's 11 in limited minutes. The best news was that the last four of Farmar's points came in the final minutes from the free throw line where he's struggled this year.

The Cal loss still hurts, and may come back to haunt them near the end of the season, but make no mistake. This was a tremendous victory on the road against a good team with an incredibly young lineup. Pardon me for looking ahead, but if everyone comes back, this team is a lock for the pre-season top five next year.


Anonymous said...

Where is the "year-end" bro?

Seitz said...

Patience, my friend.