Powell foul makes Howland growl — #11 (not for long) Bruins blow 18-point 2nd Half lead, and fall to lowly Cal Poly San Luis Obispo 70-68, after stupid foul when game was tied with 11 seconds left
The Howland-Haters got a whole bunch of ammunition on Sunday night, as a post-Thanksgiving crowd at the new Pauley Pavilion saw a turkey of an effort by the (supposedly) new Bruins. Even with all four Freshmen phenoms playing, and both Wears healthy and in the line-up, and even Josh Smith logging minutes, the Bruins phoned in a sluggish effort that saw them barely grabbing the lead at Halftime, before building up — and then blowing — an 18-point lead to a local mid-major, and going down to a humiliating defeat, 70-68.
The Bruins only showed up for 8 minutes — the first eight minutes of the 2nd Half, when they blew out Cal Poly 20-4 to take the 18-point lead. But then they went back to sleep on both ends of the court, as CP chipped away until finally tying the game with a few minutes left. The Bruins were down 2 when Shabazz Muhammad battled for a Rebound, and the opponent came down with it, but got called for Travelling. That allowed the Bruins to tie the score on a Jordan Adams lay-up with about 20 seconds left.
But on the ensuing possession, Norman Powell aggressively accosted the ballhandler, and picked up the foul. It was if he thought the Bruins were still down and NEEDED to foul. However, he complained about the call, as if he WASN’T trying to foul on purpose. Either way, the CP player stepped up to the line and sank both Free Throws. Then Norman Powell missed a 3-pointer, but the ball went out of bounds to the Bruins with 2 seconds left. As the clock expired, Adams got off a final shot, but it didn’t go down, so the Bruins did.
The #11 National ranking is not deserved — the Bruins should topple out of the Top 25 after this debacle. UCLA still showed no signs of knowing how to attack a zone, and no signs of being able to penetrate to the basket. The Defense allowed open threes during the comeback, and did not tighten in crunchtime. They have the ability, as shown during the first 8 minutes of the 2nd Half, but they did not gel when it mattered.
Even the mighty Shabazz couldn’t save them. It didn’t look like the Offense was designed to take advantage of his talent. However, he did get a couple of shots down the stretch, but he missed them both, going 4-13 on the night. And Shabazz’s co-phenom Kyle Anderson scored a total of ONE point in the loss.
The SAVIORS are not coming through like Brett Hundley did for much of HIS first season. Of course, it is still early in the season, and an embarrassing loss like this one tends to wake up the troops, and bring them together, like a loss to sc several years ago turned the season around and led to a huge winning streak.
Speaking of winning streaks, this night goes in a personal WIN column for me, just because the adorable and gorgeous Cheer Squad was in attendance, and posing for photos in the concourse of Pauley before the game. Here are 25 photos from the event.