The End of UCLA’s 6-game winning streak opens The Doors to Flashbacks of last year, but don’t let those Visions Mushroom into full-blown Hallucinations — This team still has mo-better Mojo

Blue Grit.  That’s what the Bruins showed last night, despite losing to Cal in Overtime, 76-72.  After starting out freezing cold in Burrrrkeley, missing 10 of their first 11 three-pointers, shooting 29% early, and scoring only 4 Points in the first 8 minutes, the Bruins trailed for the entire first half, and found themselves down by 12 just after the break.  But even in that Haastile environment, UCLA showed resilience, fighting all the way back to take a 1-point lead with 7:15 left.

Led by Malcolm Lee who scored 19, and Tyler Honeycutt, who compensated for his typical 6 Turnovers with 14 Points including 4 huge 3-pointers, 3 Blocks, and a Steal, the Bruins were able to turn the game into a nail-biter.  But it’s what he didn’t do that might have done the Bruins in:  He grabbed ZERO Rebounds, and he dished out ZERO Assists.  The Bruins aren’t going to win any games on the Road when Tyler throws up two big goose eggs like that… but on this night, they came damn close.

With 3.3 seconds left in the game and the Bruins trailing 60-57, Malcolm Lee — whom the Bears’ bench wanted desperately to be fouled before he could take a shot — sank a fallaway 24-foot buzzer-beater to force Overtime.  In the extra period, the Bruins came back from deficits FOUR straight times, until Joshua Smith fouled out.  With Smith missing, the Bears got an Offensive Rebound on a missed Free Throw, then got a putback to go up by 3.  Reeves Nelson then powered in for a lay-up to cut it to 1, but Cal followed that with a 3-pointer to build a 4-point cushion with 14 seconds left. Jerime Anderson drove for a hoop to cut the lead in half, but then the Bruins took too long to commit a foul.  They tried but failed to commit one right away, and then there was only .7 seconds left when they finally got one.  Cal hit the (academic) Free Throws, to make the final score 76-72.

It was only a matter of time (and probability) before the Bruins finally lost one of these now-customary close games.  And they hadn’t lost in Berkeley for 6 years, so that streak was also bound to be broken sooner or later.  It had been so long, that some Bear fans actually stormed the court, to celebrate a victory over an UNRANKED team, that isn’t even their arch rival.  Pretty weak.  However, Cal showed plenty of Blue Grit of their own, worth celebrating, fighting through injuries galore to tough out the victory.

Cal outrebounded UCLA, and also “forced” the Bruins into 18 Turnovers.  Their Defense focused on clogging the Paint, and it worked — Nelson and Smith tallied TWO Field Goals a piece, in a combined 65 minutes of play.  Three Bruin subs contributed more than usual, with Anthony Stover getting a Block and four KEY Rebounds, Anderson scoring 9, and Brendan Lane recording a Block, 4 Rebounds, and 7 Points, including two huge, back-to-back Put-Backs.  But it wasn’t enough, on a night where the Bruins lost the Turnover battle by 7, and didn’t win the battle of FG% as they almost always do.

It was a tough loss, emotionally, but they showed plenty of poise (Nelson sank back-to-back clutch Free Throws and Lee went 10-for-10 from the Line), tenacity, and heart.  Therefore, the panic button does not need to be pushed, and the Bruins still have a clear path to the Dance.

One Bruin who played like an All-Star last night was Russell Westbrook.  He dazzled the Staples Center crowd in the first half of the NBA All-Star Game, with 12 Points, 5 Rebounds, and 2 Assists, as he helped the West to a 148-143 victory.  Kevin Love also contributed, with 4 Boards, an Assist and 2 Points, but it was Kobe Bryant who really carried the team.  Kobe had 21 Points at Halftime, and finished with a game-high 37 — and 14 Rebounds — to earn his FOURTH All-Star MVP trophy.  In the History of the Game, only Bob Pettit has won as many.  Kevin Durant scored 34 for the West, and was even more of a factor than Kobe LATE in the game.  After the East cut the lead from 17 to 2, thanks to LeBron James’ Triple-Double, which only Michael Jordan had done before, Durant scored 5 straight to ice it.  James was impressive, but it wasn’t enough to take the game away from the West, or the MVP trophy away from Kobe, who still remains THE BEST… even if his Lakers have been really REELING this week in Tinseltown.  And, just like Bruin fans, there is no need for Laker fans to hit the panic button.  The Lakers were horrible at the end of last season, before they kicked it into gear in the Postseason, to win their second consecutive Championship.  The man has a knack for WINNING when it counts  — in the Courtroom, AND on the Court — even if he has to come from behind, with no Home Court Advantage.    



  1. Jake Avatar

    I was watching the all star game more, but gutierrez just went off. Just one of those games, They’ll bounce back.

  2. Ucladavid Avatar

    Was at the game at Haas last night. Give Cal and Gutierrez credit. That kid was just unconscious, he could have scored off anyone last night. Give the bruins credit for hanging tough. Last year and earlier this year the Bruins quit and lose by 20. Last night they kept fighting and did a good job representing those four letters in the front of those uniforms. GO BRUINS!!