Bruins finally win one away from the Southland, outlasting Washington State 63-60 in Pullman, where they have now won 19 straight games

Maybe instead of playing their home games at the Sports Arena this year, UCLA should have played them in Pullman, Washington.  The Bruins have now won a stunning NINETEEN consecutive contests on the Cougars’ home court, after holding on to a 63-60 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Playing without Travis Wear, who missed the game with a high ankle sprain, the Bruins had to overcome a Halftime deficit.  The first half was close, with a ton of lead-changes, but with UCLA’s Josh Smith in foul trouble, a late WSU surge put the Cougars up by 5 at the break.  In the second half, the Bruins fought back.  With Anthony Stover and Brendan Lane filling in admirably on the Defensive end for the missing Wear, UCLA was able to slow down the Coug attack, and put the clamps on Brock Motum, who scored 25 points, but ZERO in the last quarter of the game.  Switching to a Zone (to protect Smith) also helped quite a bit.

On Offense, the Bruins — for the second game in a row — were spearheaded by a resurgent Smith, who scored 19, on several nifty, agile moves in the paint.  He also got key Points in crunchtime, when the Cougars were trying to do what the Ducks and Huskies did before them — dismantle a Bruin lead late in the game.

Complementing Smith’s inside game was Lazeric Jones, who scored 15 with 4 Assists.  David Wear was a key contributor as well, also pouring in 15, and grabbing 6 Boards.  Tyler Lamb had a good game too, with 7 Points, 2 Boards, 2 Assists, 2 Blocks and a Steal.  Rounding out the solid team effort was Jerime Anderson, whose FOUR STEALS were a big part of the Bruins’ Defensive success.  They forced FIFTEEN Turnovers, and that was the Cougars’ undoing.

The bottom line in this game was that the Bruins once again had a lead in a big game going into crunchtime, and finally, this time, they didn’t allow the opponent to come back.  They got a couple of baskets, got several huge Rebounds, handled the Defensive pressure well, and made 5 Free Throws in the final minute to win it.

With Josh Smith playing like he has in these last two games, the Bruins are definitely among the Pac-12 elite, and since the Conference Tournament is in L.A., they have to be considered one of the favorites to win the Pac-12’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament… just like they were before the season started and all the adversity hit the team.


One response to “HOME AWAY FROM HOME”

  1. Jimbo Avatar

    I really hope Josh Smith continues to play hard. I hate it when players play better for certain games, or when they know family and friends are in the crowd. Bruins should play at 100% at all times, during each and every game!!!