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‘SON GASSES AT KNIGHT

Shades of Hart — After UCLA falls down by 12, Jerime Anderson hits the gas, and he and Malcolm  Lee smoke the Ducks in Matthew Knight Arena, 67-59

The difference between the usual Jerime Anderson, and the Jerime Anderson who played against Oregon, was Knight & Day.  The NEW Jerime came to life in the brand new Matthew Knight Arena, to help lift UCLA to an 8-point win over Oregon — their second straight Road victory.  Jerime hit 3 Three-pointers on his way to 15 Points, dished out 3 Assists WITHOUT a Turnover, grabbed 3 Rebounds, and snagged a Steal, in quite possibly the best game of his career.  His outside shooting — and that of Malcolm Lee — allowed UCLA to score despite not being able to get inside against the tough Oregon Zone.

The Ducks’ Defense collapsed on Joshua Smith, even when Smith didn’t have the ball.  As the Bruin Guards looked to get the ball to him, he would regularly have two or three Ducks clogging the passing lane.  So with Smith enveloped, and with Reeves Nelson in severe Foul Trouble, the Bruins had to rely on their Backcourt for scoring.  After Anderson got it started — after the Bruins had fallen behind 27-15 — Lee and Lazeric Jones picked it up the rest of the way.  Lee finished with 18 Points, and, like JA, he also hit 3 shots from behind the arc.  Lee also came up big on the glass with SIX Boards.

Even though the Ducks keyed on Smith, Joshua was still able to score 15 Points and pull down 9 Caroms.  But the biggest surprise was that Smith was whistled for only 3 Fouls all day.  Good thing for the Bruins, because Nelson got 2 in the first 3 minutes, had 3 at the Half, and got 2 more with 5 minutes left in the game, to foul out, with ZERO Points and ZERO shot attempts.  Fellow Forward Tyler Honeycutt didn’t add much on Offense either, going 3-10 for 7 Points, with FIVE sloppy Turnovers.  Honeycutt has been regressing badly in terms of using his head when he has the ball, constantly trying to make the impossible pass.  Sadly, he’s turning into Brett Favre — OLD Favre, not young Favre.  Let’s just hope Tyler doesn’t start Texting, too.  Honeycutt did excel in one area though — He dominated the Boards, with ELEVEN Rebounds.

Anthony Stover, Tyler Lamb, and Brendan Lane combined for ZERO Points, as Lane continues to be afraid to shoot, and Lamb can’t find his rhythm.  Luckily for UCLA, Jones is healthy, and has plenty of confidence.  Jones scored 12, once again hitting a big outside shot during crunchtime.  And it was the penetration of Jones that opened up some open jumpers for Anderson and Lee.

After being down by 12 early, the Bruins rallied — with Nelson on the bench — to cut the deficit to 3 at Intermission.  They took the lead 5 minutes into the 2nd Half, lost it briefly around the 10-minute mark, then got it back and kept it the rest of the way.  However, it was close –between 2 – 6 Points — until the final two minutes.

The Ducks are now 1-4 in the Pac-10, with their lone win being against sc.  That victory was achieved on the emotion of Opening Night of the new arena.  That high emotion was still evident on Saturday, but the Bruins were able to weather the storm and hold on… thanks to Lee, and thanks to the least likely Bruin to be a hero, Anderson.  If Jerime can continue to play at this level, and if Nelson bounces back, and if Honeycutt snaps out of his funk, the Bruins’ future would be so bright, they’d have to wear shades.

"‘SON GASSES AT KNIGHT" was published on January 15th, 2011 and is listed in Blue & Gold News.

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