Bruins Crash in Corvallis, as Beavs’ Cunningham and Collier Control Contest by Connecting Consistently

The cowardly Captain of that Italian Cruise Ship that capsized is being called the Chicken of the Sea.  Next time UCLA faces Oregon State, they might be Chicken of the C’s, because they won’t want to see Jared Cunningham and Devon Collier again.  The Bruins had no answer for those two, who scored 21 and 20 respectively, in OSU’s 87-84 victory, which wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.

Oregon State got off to a fast start, jumping out to an 8-0 lead, but the Bruins went on a 10-1 run to storm back and take a lead.  The game stayed very close for an hour after that, as the Wear Twins helped the Bruins keep pace.  But in the 2nd Half, the Beavers outplayed the Bruins, by running a more efficient Offense, getting better shots, and playing tighter Defense.  OSU built an 11-Point lead, and the Bruins never recovered.

The Beavers made adjustments, and neutralized the Wears, which allowed OSU to hold onto the lead.  The Bruins cut the lead to 6 late in the game, but they couldn’t get over the hump.  A huge Three by Ahmad Starks put the lead back to 9 with just four and a half minutes left, and then a strange thing happened:  The Bruins showed no desire to avoid the loss.

For some inexplicable reason, the Bruins showed NO URGENCY, playing as if there were still 15 minutes left. They didn’t pressure the ball on Defense, and they didn’t ramp up the pace on Offense.  The clock ran down quickly, as the Bruins lazily played what amounted to a 4-corner stall against themselves.  They milked the clock for the Beavers, until there was 1 minute left.  Then they finally started to foul, but it was too late by then.

Head Coach Ben Howland seemed to be calling for them to speed up the Offense before the final minute, but it didn’t happen.  He was out of Time Outs, but he still should have been able to spark his players without calling Time.  The Bruins just looked tired and beaten, WAY before the game was out of reach.

Oregon State was the better team on this night, but that’s no excuse for the way the Bruins quit.  The Beavers were 1-5 in Conference play, so by increasing the pressure on them late in the game, the Bruins could have made them panic (since they aren’t USED to winning).  Instead, the Bruins let them dribble down the clock during the last few minutes, until the game was basically out of reach.  A wild, uncalled bankshot for 3 by Norman Powell and a meaningless, last-second dunk by David Wear made the final margin a misleading three points.

Each Wear scored 16 Points and Lazeric Jones added 17 and 8 Assists, but Tyler Lamb was held without a Field Goal until panic mode had already set in.  Jerime Anderson hit his first 5 shots, but missed his last two.  Jerime had 9 Assists, but also committed 3 unforced Turnovers, and struggled with the ball when OSU turned up the Defensive pressure.  Josh Smith made all three of his shots, but played only 19 minutes and wasn’t much of a factor in crunch time.

The Beavers played with more confidence and resolve in the 2nd Half, and got the win because of it.  This was their first win against UCLA after THIRTEEN straight losses.  The Bruins will have to find a way to control the Beaver’s C’s when they meet again, or it will be 2 in a row for Oregon State.