Bruins KISS off Wyoming 113-62, as Hotter Than Hell Michael Roll comes Alive with 25
Here lies the ghost of Fennis Dembo… in a KISS Kasket, buried under Pauley Pavilion.
The last time UCLA faced Wyoming, it was 1987 March Madness, and Wyoming’s Dembo scored 41 points to knock Reggie Miller’s Bruins OUT of the Tournament. That painful loss made the name “Dembo” a curse word in Westwood, joining infamous non-trojan monikers such as “Carr” and “Tripucka.”
Fast-forward 21 years later, and the Bruins finally get another crack at the Cowboys. Wyoming came in at 9-1, but that record was built against a pile of crumbs that would be honored to be called “cupcakes.” That’s why the Bruins were favored by 19 despite the fact that the Cowboys had a better record than the (now) 9-2 Bruins.
At the start of the game, the Cowboys showed no signs of being intimidated, and why should they — They were riding a 21-year winning streak against UCLA. Wyoming hit their first 7 shots, took a 16-12 lead, and bettors who GAVE 19 points were already writing off their wagers.
But then the Bruins adjusted to the uptempo that the Cowboys were forcing. And “adjust” they DID. It all started with Michael Roll, who broke his Career-high of 17, in the FIRST Half. Roll was on fire from behind the arc, and also made some nice moves to get open midrange jumpers – which he nailed – on his way to 18 Points at the Break. By that time, the Bruins had blown the game open, 59-34. Those 59 points are the most EVER scored in a Half by a Ben Howland Bruin team.
The Cowboys didn’t play much Defense, while the Bruins amassed a mind-blowing 20 Steals, the most they’ve gotten in at least 8 years. The Bruins just steadily pulled away, as Alfred Aboya (12 Points) and Drew Gordon (14-11 Double-Double) controlled the Paint, and Roll, Darren Collison (19 Points), and Malcolm Lee (16 Points) took care of the perimeter.
The Bruins have one game left before the Pac-10 starts, but once they get into the Conference, the 51-point margins might be hard to come by. In other words: Sure they looked great on Tuesday night, but after the first 6 minutes, it was more like a Practice than a Game, and nothing should be taken for granted based on the lopsided results…Except — Michael Roll is a whole new Player this season, with a newfound confidence that will DEMAND that Howland find substantial minutes for him, even when Josh Shipp returns from injury.
[By the way: Even though they won by more than 50, they won with CLASS, unlike ex-trojan LenDale White, who is the Titan who stomped a Steelers’ Terrible Towel into the mud after Tennessee beat Pitt on Sunday. And unlike UCLA with Wyoming, the Steelers won’t wait 21 years to exact THEIR revenge.]
And speaking of DEMAND — You demand, I supply: [And by the way, don’t forget that you can ENLARGE these photos by clicking on them. Also, if you mouse over these photos, you will see a hidden KISS Kaption appear.]