Firin’ Bryce — Bryce Alford hits 4 straight 3-pointers during a second half run, giving the Bruins consecutive double-digit comeback wins, this time snuffing the Buffs 92-74, a victory keyed by another remarkable all-around performance by Kyle Anderson
On Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion, the UCLA-Colorado game tipped off at an unusually-early 6pm. With all the construction on the 405, most people were still in their cars when the game began. But that didn’t stop the Bruins from getting off to a blazing start. UCLA raced out to an early lead, perhaps inspired by their horrid early play against u$c last week. With the Wear Twins leading the way, UCLA jumped ahead 11-3. Then complacency set in, and the Buffaloes found their rhythm, and then some. Before anyone realized what was going on, Colorado built a 12-point lead at 33-21.
That’s when Kyle Anderson took over. Anderson, who finished with 22 Points, 11 Assists, and 7 Rebounds, coolly led the Bruins back, cutting the deficit to 2 points, with a run that included Bryce Alford getting a Rebound, an Assist, and Field Goal in a very short time span. A Buffalo slam at the buzzer gave Colorado a 36-32 lead at the break. When play resumed, Alford must have felt confident, because he proceeded to nail 4 straight three-pointers, giving the Bruins a 10-point lead. Travis Wear was also crucial to the Bruins’ effort, going 6-for-6 on the night for 13 Points. Jordan Adams added 17 Points, despite going 0-for-5 from behind the arc. Tony Parker also played a key role, getting a couple of big boards and a clutch put-back.
But it was Anderson’s floor leadership and multi-talented game that kept the Bruins grounded. Those 11 dimes inspired great team passing, which led to a total of 25 Assists on the evening. And it was Alford who became the true unexpected hero, with his hot hand in the second half. Alford had been ice cold from the perimeter lately, but he has been better in Pauley, and he cherished the home court advantage on Thursday night. The Bruins will need his good shooting if they hope to have a successful stretch run to their season.
You wanna know the real reason why I am so happy about Bryce’s hot streak? Well, it’s like this: There was a fat-ass blowhard sitting right behind me in the seats at Pauley, and right from the moment that Alford entered the game, this arrogant loudmouth perched behind me refused to shut up. Every play brought more loud, obnoxious vitriol, ALL aimed at Alford, who this fat prick kept calling “Balford.” Even though this “fan” was a grown man, you would have sworn he was a 10-year old. He was so loud, I put in earbuds and cranked my iTunes at maximum volume… but I still couldn’t drown him out. I could hear every “Balford” he uttered. It was so over-the-top that other people in the section were exchanging glances, sympathizing with one another that we had to endure this tirade of abuse. Alford did have a couple of Defensive lapses that earned this guy’s ire, but coming nowhere near the point of JUSTIFYING the comments. The guy obviously had an agenda packed in his gut — along with a few pizzas and donuts — when he arrived at the Arena. He was mad at Coach Alford, complaining about nepotism, and screaming that Bryce has no business being on the floor.
So when Bryce had his first half run of a Rebound, Assist, and long 2-pointer in a couple of minutes, it was exhilarating, for me. When he sank the field goal, I finally turned around and glared at this guy with joy. Of course, the guy says to his companion that it’s the only thing Bryce did right all game, and that’s all he CAN do is hit one shot. Which set me up perfectly for the second half, when Alford hit 4 consecutive threes, in a tight game, forcing the a-hole to eat more crow than anyone has ever eaten before. And yes, I turned around and laughed in his face, harder with each ensuing bucket. And just like all arrogant pricks, the guy couldn’t face facts, and refused to give Alford his due. All he said was that Alford’s bad Defense gave up more points than he scored. What a f’in loser. It must have KILLED him (like the inevitable Heart Attack ultimately will) to watch Alford be the hero, leading UCLA to victory. I’m sure he would have preferred to see the Bruins lose, if it meant he could save face by having Alford choke. Some fan. There are so many people like that on the Internet message boards — But this is the first time I had to listen to it at a game, having it basically ruin the whole experience. Ultimately, it turned out to make a great game a million times more enjoyable, because Alford’s heroic performance totally put this guy in his place and shut him up, BIG TIME.
Below are 41 more photos from the game, including 36 UCLA Cheerleader pics. Click on them to enlarge them, and come back here soon to look for more —