Bruins go cold as pink champagne on ice against the Sun Devils, who live it up at the Hotel Pauley-fornia with a 61-58 O.T. win — For ASU: What a nice surprise; For UCLA: Bring your alibis.
Was that the worst drought in UCLA History?
With 8 minutes left and with a 54-43 lead built on 3 straight Nikola Dragovic 3’s, Hell Froze Over, and UCLA completely lost the ability to shoot the basketball. The Bruins were stuck on 54 for a half an hour, as the Sun Devils, behind James Harden and Jeff Pendergraf, chipped away at – and finally took – the lead. It took a short jumper by Alfred Aboya to break the spell of missed shots, and to give the lead back to the Bruins with less than a minute to go.
But ASU scored again, and Darren Collison’s missed midrange jumper sent the game into Overtime. In the extra period, the Bruins continued to struggle against the ASU Zone Defense, getting outscored 7-4 in the final, fateful 5 minutes. Collison just wasn’t himself, showing a distinct lack of confidence with his outside shot after missing his first few. Josh Shipp had a hot first half, but disappeared – as did everyone else – during the drought.
Even the constantly improving Freshman Jrue Holiday had a rough afternoon, going 1-for-5 from the field. Perhaps the burden of getting the assignment to guard James Harden affected Holiday’s Offensive production. Jrue DID lead the team in Assists with 5, though.
Speaking of 1-for-5, that’s how Michael Roll did from behind the arc on Saturday. Roll’s torrid streak has calmed down quite a bit recently. It was Drago who got hot, but even he couldn’t break the Devil’s curse during the fatal cold spell.
The loss broke the Bruins’ 10-game winning streak, and their 8-game streak over ASU. The Sun Devils ARE Nationally-ranked at #15, but they got spanked by sc on Thursday, so maybe that’s why the complacent-looking Bruins couldn’t muster enough passion to pull this one out.
And speaking of passion, instead of dissecting the gut-wrenching meltdown looking for goats, or lamenting sc’s equally-tense win over Arizona, let’s just move on to stirring up a different kind of passion…