UCLA’s Emperor Love puts game against Chilly Willies in Fridge and Mata-Real ices it, 83-52
“Penguin” — Great Batman villian, good frozen-lake swimmers, bad frozen yogurt sellers, and even worse frozen-rope shooters. The Youngstown State Penguins laid an egg in Pauley on Monday night, getting blown away by a Bruin team still missing Darren Collison, Mike Roll, and James Keefe. Actually, the team with the less-than-ferocious nickname held their own against the #2 Bruins, and were still in the game well into the 2nd Half.
Thanks to the absence of ballhandling magician Collison, the Bruins had 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, allowing the Penguins to stick around. But the power of Kevin Love wore down Youngstown State. Love and Lorenzo Mata-Real controlled the interior, scoring 21 and 14 points (including a banked-in Free Throw) respectively, with Mata-Real adding 14 Rebounds. Lorenzo looked much more fluid on Offense than in the past, making a couple of nice scoring moves including a little hook shot. But Love is in another Universe, showing glimpses of why he was the #1 Player in the Country last year. It looked like he could score whenever he got the ball underneath. Against bigger teams, it won’t be as easy down there, but Love also showed that he can hit the 3 without hesitation. Love led the team early, and Mata came in and carried them a little later, as the Bruins extended their lead to a Wooden-Era 30+ points.
The Bruins were able to empty their bench, and it shouldn’t be the last time they can do that. Tonight, the Bruins face Cal State San Bernardino in the 2nd round of the CBE Classic. CSSB upset Weber State on Monday, but isn’t expected to block the Bruins from the glamor rounds of this Tourney.
And finally, a couple of superficial observations: The Cameroonians BOTH looked better than before. Luc’s shot was smoother, and Aboya looked more fundamentally sound. They will be important, as it appears that the Bruins will still sometimes have trouble figuring out how to attack a Zone Defense, especially without Collison at the controls.
Below, as promised, are SIX more Spirit Squad photos from Saturday. There will be dozens more coming over the next two weeks, and, in response to a recent letter, we will try to NOT neglect the CHEER Squad in favor of the Dance Team, and if we have in the past, it wasn’t by design. We adore them all — It’s just really difficult to get crisp shots of the Cheer Squad, because they are so often performing gymnastics and tumbling.
Now, as for neglecting the Male squadmembers in favor of the Female members…GUILTY as charged. [And don’t forget to mouse-over for captions, and click to ENLARGE.]