Shipp ignites Bruin blowout with second straight career-high
Josh Shipp is peaking at a time when the UCLA Bruins just might need him the most. For the first time in Josh’s 4-year career as a Bruin, UCLA did not win the Pac-10. This year, the Bruins enter the Pac-10 Tourney as the 2nd place team, behind the Washington Huskies. Washington beat the Washington State Cougars on Saturday, in order to avoid having to share the Title with UCLA.
This year’s Bruins need to be firing on all cylinders in order to live up to the reputation set by the last three years’ squads, and right now, the Shipp cylinder is firing strong. On Thursday night against Oregon State, Shipp set a career-high in Scoring, with 27 points, but the record was short-lived, as he celebrated Senior Day on Saturday, by scoring 28 against Oregon.
Oregon could get a chance to avenge Saturday’s 94-68 beatdown, because on Wednesday, they play Washington State for the chance to face the Bruins, again, on Thursday night in the Pac-10 Tournament. No one on UCLA will likely admit it, but they will be pulling for Oregon. WSU and Taylor Rochestie are a much tougher match-up for UCLA than are the Ducks.
Oregon actually held their own with the Bruins on Saturday, for about 17 minutes. They led for most of the first half, until the Bruin Defense tightened up, allowing the Bruins to ride a 12-point swing to a 7-point lead at halftime.
After the break, the Ducks came within 4, but then the Bruins built a comfortable lead that they held for the rest of the game. If the Ducks somehow manage to get by the Cougars, the Bruins’ biggest problem on Thursday night would be complacency.