Thursday, February 02, 2006

Winning Ugly - ASU 60; UCLA 69

If you recorded this one with plans to watch it again, erase it. It was not pretty. It felt like the Bruins scored about half of their final total despite shooting almost 50%. It was just a very ragged game against an opponent that they should have beaten by about 20. But every time they had a chance to really close the door, they'd give up a three, turn the ball over, foul a guy, and the next thing you knew, it was back down to four. The only statistical category of any consequence that the Bruins didn't have the advantage was rebounding. Each team finished with 23. But still, the game was in a little bit of doubt with a minute to go until Jordan Farmar found Ced Bozeman for a three pointer from the baseline as the shot clock expired.

Farmar was unquestionably the Bruins' best player tonight, throwing in 18 points on 7-12 shooting. But he only had three assists, negated by three turnovers. LRMAM did not have what I consider to be one of his better nights, netting 8 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. He either needs to start hitting a three every now and then, or he needs to stop taking them when there's time on the shot clock. Aboya and Wright really didn't contribute very much, just two points and 2 rebounds between them. Aboya fouled out after only 8 minutes. Of course, those guys are freshmen, and they're going to have their ups and downs. Mike Roll also hit a couple of three pointers. Ryan Hollins added 6 and 4 while playing only 15 minutes, and Michael Fey got into the game for a couple minutes, scoring on a put back of an offensive rebound.

The slack was made up by Aaron Afflalo and Ced Bozeman, who were both terrific on the defensive end. Afflalo finally showed signs of emerging from his slump, hitting a nice jumper in the lane on a broken play, and draining a late three, followed by a turn-around jumper from the baseline. Bozeman added 10 points of his own, including the aforementioned three pointer. He did it on 4-5 shooting, and added three assists.

This was a bit of a trap game with Arizona upcoming (which is turning into a bit of trap game itself the way Arizona is playing). While there were bursts of energy at times, from what I saw, the Bruins never really got into a good flow. But another win is another win. The Bruins are now 8-2 in the conference, and 18-4 overall. They travel to Washington next week, which makes the Arizona game that much more important. Drop that one, and they could see the beginning of a three game skid. Let's hope the game is a little more attractive than tonight's. But if they need to get ugly to get another W, I can live with that too.


The Chronicler said...

Somehow, I was never worried during this game, even when it took us forever to put it away. It was nice to see Afflalo doing something on offense again, and Cedric came up with some good plays.

And The Prince really needs to lose those three point attempts. Egad.

My two favorite awful calls of the game: a bogus charge on Antanaheue (sp?) "drawn" by Darren Collison, and a totally phantom shooting foul called against Hollins relatively late in the game -- he made a clean block, I have no idea where the whistle came from. Honorable mention to the refs declaring Luc Richard out of bounds, conferring, and then decided that he wasn't and letting UCLA keep the ball.

Seitz said...

It was kind of a weird game. Not as fun to watch as either a blow out or a close game that comes down to the final minute. It was just sort of there.

They got the call right on the out of bounds play. It happened quickly, so it looked like his right foot came down before he released the ball. But his left foot hit, he released the ball, then his right foot hit.

At least it didn't take them 20 minutes to find out how many timeouts a team had like in the Arizona-$C game.

BruinHoopScoop said...

I think I remember the foul call on Hollins' block. Was the foul called on him or on Afflalo? Either way, it was terrible.

However, the worst gaffe by the refs was definitely the opening tip. If you have the game recorded, watch it again. The ASU guy struggled to tip it because it was BEHIND him (and of course Hollins couldn't get it cuz it was two feet away from him). Unbelievable that they didn't re-jump.

Seitz said...

I must have missed the opening tip. Pac 10 refs seem to outdo themselves every night.