Ham Slams the Shams — Isaac Hamilton has a career day with 36 points including 7 three-pointers, as UCLA destroys troy 96-70, making it SIX straight (NINE straight including Football) over a school whose only recent Basketball headline was a claim to shame, when O.J “Pay-o to Play-o” Mayo was caught holding the ($$$) bag
WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU HAM!!!
Send out the clowns!!! U$C’s Basketball season is over, mercifully for all twelve of their die-hard fans, as UCLA has dispatched them from the Pac-12 Tourney with a decisive 96-70 beatdown. That’s a 3-and-oh SWEEP against the crosstown rivals, by an average of 18 points per game. So ends the second straight disastrous season for the trojans and their head coach Andy Enfield, who famously declared, in a not-so-thinly veiled slam at UCLA, that if you want to play fast, come to usc. I guess he left out: “But if you want to tattoo 96 points on your arch rival and win by 26, go to UCLA.”
UCLA will now face Arizona on Friday night, in a game where they would be underdogs even at full strength, but HUGE underdogs if forced to play without Freshman phenom Kevon Looney, who took an elbow to the face in the first half Thursday, and did not return to action.
With Looney on the bench, and with Bruin leader Norman Powell in foul trouble, you would think that the trojans, who had just beaten ASU with a 21-4 finishing flurry, would have an excellent chance of competing with UCLA, especially after establishing an early 13-10 lead. But Isaac Hamilton took care of that. The Bruins used a 14-0 spurt and soon thereafter a 9-0 spurt to take command of the game, as Hamilton went on the tear of his life. Hamilton had 18 points at halftime, leading UCLA to an 18-point lead at the intermission, and added 18 more in the second half, as even without Looney, the Bruins were able to expand the margin by another 8 points.
Hamilton shot 13-for-17 from the floor, including 7-of-9 from behind the arc, more than making up for the absence of Looney, and the absence of Bryce Alford’s point production. BA had more Turnovers than Buckets (3-to-2), but he did tally 7 Assists and 7 Rebounds, and the Offense ran much smoother when he was at the Point. So once again, the Bruins are at their best when Alford takes less shots, especially away from Pauley. When they are feeding the post and attacking the basket, the Bruins are a harder team to guard, and are simply more productive on Offense. Tony Parker and Norman Powell were once again too much for sc to handle inside, each scoring 14 points.
Besides Hamilton’s unprecedented output (his 36 point and 7 3’s were the most by a Bruin since 2005, when Dijon Thompson scored 39 with 7 trey’s), the biggest surprise was the production off the bench. Gyorgy Goloman hit two Three’s — cleanly — for 6 points while adding 7 Boards and 2 Assists, and Thomas Welsh added 8 points and 3 caroms. Even Noah Allen got lots of time, with Looney unavailable, and contributed 6 points, including two very nice put-backs, and an awesome blocked shot. It’s amazing how usc can bring out the best from so many Bruins!
Now it’s “wait and see” on Looney, because the bench is unlikely to repeat this success against the tough Wildcats, especially when the good-traveling Arizona fans will give the Cats a decided home court advantage in Vegas. If the Bruins somehow manage to pull off the upset, they will be deserving of an NCAA bid. If not, then it could be off to the NIT. Too bad sc is so awful and won’t even get a bid to the NIT, or the Bruins could BeatSC for the FOURTH time in one year.
To celebrate the 9th straight beating of u$c, here are 17 more never-before-seen photos of the UCLA Spirit Squad. #gobruins 🙂