Glass-bottom Shipp-shot sinks the Navy & Gold for UCLA’s second straight titanic comeback, 81-80
Just when you think it’s safe to go back in the water, you see two icebergs. But then you beat the Lopez Twins, and relax for Cal. But the Pac-10’s leading scorer – with ice in his veins – along with the ice cold Bruins, created an Icebearg. And then, your Shipp makes a manuever that Captains Queeg AND Sparrow would be proud of, and the Bay Area is torpedoed once again.
For the second game in a row, the Bruins got outplayed on their Home Court, despite Saturday being Lorenzo Mata-Real’s final game at Pauley. Cal opened up an early 21-10 lead, and kept the lead for the rest of the game… almost.
Thanks to some key shots by Darren Collison, tough drives by Russell Westbrook, and clutch Rebounds by Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, not to mention another “stepping-up-to-the-plate” by Kevin Love, the Bruins managed to close the gap.
They trailed by 4 with less than a half a minute to go, when Love, who had missed badly on his previous attempts from Downtown, hit an impossible Trey, which to get off, he had to double-clutch in mid-air to shake the defender. Then Westbrook and Shipp’s double-team of Ryan Anderson allowed Russell to strip the ball, which caromed off Anderson’s leg out of bounds. After an effort by Collison was blocked, the Bruins had one last chance, and with 1.5 seconds left, Josh Shipp found himself on the baseline, so he lobbed a rainbow over the corner of the backboard into the hoop for a 1-Point lead.
Just like the Stanford fans who didn’t feel that the body contact on Collison was enough to warrant Free Throws (which forced Overtime), the Cal fans will swear that the ball literally went OVER the backboard, and was therefore illegal. According to the Refs, it might have just barely gone over the corner, but it was just too close to disallow with the naked eye, and replay review is not allowed for this type of play.
So the Bear fans can grumble, but it wasn’t a “horrible” call. It was a very close play, and the Refs decided to let the miracle shot stand, rather than take it off the board on the slight chance that it MIGHT have gone over the corner.
But the Bear fans are grumbling about more than just that play. On the Turnover that preceded it, they think that Westbrook committed a foul on the arm. Both Refs were blocked, and even with the aid of replay, there is no visual evidence supporting the Bear fans’ point of view. The replays show what could have very well been a clean swipe at the ball, which then could have gone off Anderson’s leg.
So the whole Country can whine about “Pauley Callies,” but the Bruins – and the Refs – have nothing to be ashamed about. The Bruins worked their butts off to fight their way back into these games, and never quit despite setbacks that occurred in the final minute of each game. Love scored 22, Luc had his second straight Double-Double, and Westbrook finished with 18 Points, as the Bruins battled back from an 11-Point, mid-Second Half deficit. Cal’s Jamal Boykin scored 18 very impressive Points, and Pac-10 Scoring Leader Anderson woke up after a slow start to add 21, so if the Bruins and Bears meet again in the Pac-10 Tourney, considering Howland’s approach to it, the Bears should NOT be taken for granted, and a loss could cost the Bruins their #1 Seed in March Madness. So make sure to watch, and even better, go down to the Staples Center and cheer the Bruins on.
Below are 29 hidden-captioned photos from the season’s FINAL game at Pauley. Enjoy and savor them, but don’t despair – We’ll be posting many, many more over the next few days.