Chicks dig the Lon Ball — You don’t need a Mexican Radio to tune in to the fact that Lonzo is making (B)all The Right Moves, leading the Bruins out of their flat funk like That Ol’ Black Magic, to finally wall off the dam Beavers and make them pay for it, 78-60
Lonzo Ball gets better, and better, and better. For the first half of the season, he was just feeling things out, concentrating on distributing the ball, involving his teammates, and making them better. His unselfishness permeated the whole team, and made the Bruins a National Contender. Comparisons to Jason Kidd were proliferating. And that was “tentative” Lonzo, just getting his feet wet as a college Freshman.
Now that he is getting more comfortable, he has decided to kick it up a notch in the scoring department. Forget Kidd — this kid is MAGIC (as in Johnson). On Sunday afternoon, the Bruins found themselves down 27-24 to the 27-point underdog Oregon State Beavers, who came into the game 0-12 in the Pac-12, on a 12-game losing streak. This was indeed a trap game, with the Bruins apparently looking ahead to their upcoming revenge match against their crosstown rivals next week. The Bruins came out flat, and their sharpshooters were anything but sharp, hence the 27-24 deficit.
When the Bruins need a pick-me-up, it is usually Lonzo who supplies it, and that was the case again on Sunday. Ball lifted UCLA on his shoulders, as they surged ahead by 5 at the half, and went on to blow out the Beavs 78-60, behind 22 Points from their prolific Frosh Point Guard. The next-closest to that 22 was fellow Freshman T.J. Leaf, who had 13. Leaf had another bad first half, scoring only 2, but he woke up after Intermission and was a big part of the turnaround. No one else on the team hit double figures, in any category. No one else shot better than 50% except Gyorgy Goloman, who scored 7, grabbed 3 Boards, and had 3 Steals!
Guards Hamilton, Holiday, and Alford all had up-and-down games, well below their usual overall production. Some of that could be blamed on the Beavers’ slow-down style, which held UCLA to a season-low 32 points in the first half. UCLA looked much better in the second half, on both ends of the court. They will need to maintain that momentum if they hope to avoid a devastating 5th straight loss to troy on Saturday. That game will be a true test of the Bruins’ mentality. If they can’t rise to THAT occasion, in Pauley, it would be hard to have faith in them come March Madness.
Here are 56 more game and cheer, etc. photos from Sunday’s contest. I will be posting more Spirit Squad action photos from this game, during the coming week. By the way, Dance Team Coach Nicole’s upcoming retirement was announced at the game. She has been awesome, and sweet, and talented, and a treasure for the Squad. She will be missed! Thanks to Nicole for all her hard work and sacrifice for the last dozen years. Also, thank you to all the current squad members. They have been super-nice this week. The only thing that continues to stun me more than their unparalleled grace and beauty is their everlasting kindness. They are a credit to our school, and to the selection committee, and to the staff, and to their parents, several of whom I’ve conversed with this week. I can see how the girls have turned out so spectacularly. #class #humility