If the Pac 10 isn't embarrassed about the quality of the officiating for which they are paying, then they truly have no shame. The officiating in the Pac 10 has been awful all season, but it reached a new low today, and I'm not talking about home cooking. It was bad both ways. It was horribly inconsistent. I defy anyone to explain to me what is and isn't a foul using that game as your visual aid. In the second half, they may as well have just given the Huskies two free throws, run 15 seconds off the clock, and given UCLA two free throws, and repeated the process. One of the big plays of the game was a dunk by John Brockman off a feed from Brandon Roy who was passing out of the double team. It was really the most shocking play of the game, because for the previous ten minutes, every touch by Roy was pretty much an automatic foul on the Bruins. My favorite was the fould called on Aboya who was standing on the OTHER SIDE OF THE BASKET and was knocked down by Roy landing on him AFTER he had laid the ball in the basket.
Aboya, for what it's worth, was fantastic. He was more heralded than LRMAM when this class enrolled, but surgeries on both knees slowed his progress, and he's just now beginning to make his presence felt. He led the Bruins with 15 points and added 8 rebounds (per the box score I'm using - subject to change). He's shown good quickness to the basket at times this season, and if he can get fully healthy, he looks like he can be a real force.
Ryan Hollins added nine rebounds of his own, but fouled out fairly quickly in the second half on some more brilliant officiating. Apparently a 6'10" guy can jump on top of Jordan Farmar to fight for a loose ball, but Ryan Hollins isn't allowed to battle with anyone on the Huskies for loose balls. Of course, Hollins should have been kicked out earlier, but he amazingly kept his cool after being bear hugged by Applewhite under the offensive basket ("inadvertantly" according to Mush Mouth). I've gotta think that if I were Hollins, Applewhite would have been missing a few teeth after that play.
Aaron Afflalo appeard to slip back into a slump, adding only five points on 2-10 shooting. Between the two of them, Farmar and Afflalo shot 4-23 from the field. Brandon Roy wasn't much better, shooting 3-11, but he was given 16 free throws, 13 of which he made. The key play of the game came on a Bruins steal with just over ten seconds to go. They got the ball ahead to Collison who had a chance to tie the game with a lay-up. He missed it, and was fouled, then missed his first free throw, and the Bruins were forced to take a three pointer the other end that Jordan Farmar rushed and had blocked.
And that was really the difference in the end. The Bruins shot just 65% from the line, while Washington shot 82%. The Bruins also turned the ball over 20 times, five more than their hosts. They made up for it on the glass, outrebounding the Huskies by ten at 32-22, inlcuding a 14-7 edge on the offensive boards, largely thanks to Aboya. The Bruins simply didn't shoot the ball well from the field, or the free throw line. Bruins not named Hollins and Aboya shot only 30% from the field. Somewhat surprising was that Michael Fey didn't get into the game, especially when you consider all the foul trouble that the Bruins were in.
It's a disappointing loss to be sure, especially with the opportunities they had. But there's no shame in losing to a good team on the road. This is the first road loss for the Bruins, which is kind of amazing when you think about it. It could have been a huge win, but it will end up being a learning experience. They have a week to get healthy before playing at $C, and with the Oregon schools travelling to Pauley for the next two after that, the Bruins really should win their next three before going to the Bay to end the season. If they can do that, and get a split up north, that should be enough for the Pac 10 championship.