No ham in Muhammad — Hard-working phophet Shabazz Muhammad leads Bruins to profit with sweep over Cal and Stanford, for seven straight wins; Meanwhile, sc loses to Cal at home, and an ex-trojan costs his team a victory in the NFL Playoffs
Remember a few weeks ago, when the Bruins were 5-and-3, including a loss to Cal Poly SLO, and two players transferred out, and people were calling for Ben Howland’s head on a platter? No? Well neither does anyone else, now that the team has come together, and strung together seven consecutive impressive victories. The latest two were this week’s Pac-12 contests with Cal and Stanford. On Saturday, the Bruins knocked down the Trees 68-60, holding on after letting a 15 point lead get shaved down to 5 with under a minute left. Shabazz Muhammad made 5 Free Throws in that final minute to lock down the victory.
Muhammad once again led the Bruins in scoring with 23, almost twice as many as any of his teammates. He also pulled down 10 Rebounds to notch a Double-Double. And it was Muhammad’s 7 points in the first few minutes of the Second Half that gave the Bruins control of the game until that late Stanford run made it interesting.
Muhammad also hit a clutch 3-pointer against Cal on Thursday that kept the Bears at bay with less than 5 minutes to go, while they too made a late run at UCLA. And this strong week of play for Shabazz follows his huge game against Missouri, which netted him the National Player of the Week award.
Shabazz has not been carrying UCLA to success single-handedly — Larry Drew II is running the machine with an amazing 7-to-1 Assist-to-Turnover ratio during the streak. Jordan Adams is making key plays, including SEVEN STEALS against Stanford, and Kyle Anderson is leading the Bruins in Rebounding game after game. And on top of all that new blood, without THE WEARS, the Bruins would be struggling mightily. The twins scored ALL of the Bruins’ first FIFTEEN points of the game on Saturday, before the rest of the team finally woke up Offensively.
While UCLA was completing their sweep of the Bay Area schools, sc couldn’t match the feat. They did give Cal a very tough battle, trailing by only 1 with 5 minutes to go, but the Bears prevailed in the end, 72-64. UCLA should take note — sc will not be a pushover this season.
In the NFL Saturday afternoon, the Cincinnati Bengals went down to defeat again, but it wasn’t their lousy former QB and ex-trojan Carson Palmer who was to blame. This time, another ex-trojan was the goat. Admittedly, I did not witness the whole game myself, but I did tune in long enough to catch the NBC analysts breaking down how the Bengals broke down: Houston was able to gain yards and key First Downs by matching Tight Ends against Cinci Linebacker Rey Maualuga across the middle. NBC put together a MONTAGE of plays where ex-trojan Rey-Rey got lost or beaten by various Texan Receivers on crossing patterns, allowing Houston to snag a 19-13 victory. Now the Texans move on to the next round of the Playoffs, while Cinci goes home. Ironically, Houston also had an ex-trojan playing Linebacker earlier in the season, but Brian Cushing, after getting busted for Steroid use, got injured without the Steroids, and is out for the year. Apparently, the Texans don’t miss him very much, as they pretty much stifled the usually-productive Bengal offense despite Cushing’s absence.
To celebrate the Bruins’ 7-game winning streak, sc’s loss, and Rey-Rey’s ousting from the Playoffs, here are 40 more new UCLA Cheerleader photos from last month’s Bowl Game.