For all of you nostalgic types, I hope you taped this one, because you got to see what scoring was like before the shot clock, and you almost got to see what it was like before the three point line was added. There were two three point baskets all night long. That's not a typo. 2. Count 'em. I imagine that since the three point line was added some 20 years or so ago, there has to have been games with only 1, or maybe even 0, but there can't be that many. And I'd be surprised if any of them featured a team in the top 25.
The defense was excellent yet again. You could tell that Coach Howland told them to keep the intensity up from the outset. The first few posessions featured tremendous defense, with virtually no separation for a WSU player at any time. The intensity transferred to the offensive end, as they scored on the first five posessions, moving the ball as well as they have all year, in running out to an 11 point lead. Before long, it was 14-0, and the spread was never smaller than 12 for the rest of the game.
On the scoreboard, Farmar and his injured ankle poured in 20 points on 7-13 shooting, but somehow went without an assist all night. LRMAM led the team in rebounds yet again, grabbing 7, while Ryan Hollins added 6. UCLA shot 45%, which isn't awful against Washington State, but the cougars only shot 28% themselves, including a painful 1-11 for Robbie Cowgill. I mean really, the numbers are shocking. Washington State had 50% more points in the second half than in the first, and THEY ONLY HAD 18 IN THE SECOND HALF!
One thing the Bruins are going to have to work on is lobbing the ball into the post when their big man is being fronted. I counted at least three times that they turned the ball over trying to make that pass tonight. But to be successful doing that, they'll need big men who can catch, and although they're making improvement, they aren't quite there yet.
Let's just hope that these two teams don't meet in the conference tournament. Not because I don't think UCLA will beat the Cougars a third time, but rather for my own health. I was able to resist the temptation to gouge my eyes out tonight, but another ten minutes, and it would have been close. This game was downright fugly.