UCLA Experiences A Little Bliss By Sinking An NIT Caliber Washington At The Buzzer

No really. One of these guys was the HERO of tonight's game. Photo Credit: E. Corpuz

Well that was entertaining. Howland's Bruins pulled out a mini "miracle" at Pauley by beating a mediocre (and what looked to be pretty poorly coached) Washington Huskies by an amazing game ending buzzer beater from Mustafa Abdul Hamid. It was a back and forth game with about 15 lead changes. Bruins took a 60-59 lead thanks to two clutch FTs (we haven't had a lot of those year) from Michael Roll with 8 seconds left in the game. Then Washington's Venoy Overton did his own impression of Tyus Edney by going coast-to-coast and putting the Huskies ahead 61-60 with about 3.8 seconds left in the game. Then we had a little magic at Pauley.

Michael Roll made a nice long pass to Mustafa Abdul Hamid (a smart pass as noted by britishbruin as Roll had the option to go with a safe short one to Malcolm Lee) who took it up the court and calms sank a three. Ball game. Here is the box score.Note that was Mustafa's second game winning buzzer beating shot of the season.

It was definitely exhilarating moment. Apparently too exhilarating for bunch of folks in the Bruin Den to lose all perspective and attempt to rush the court. Come one people, show a modicum of respect to the banners hanging in our rafters. Don't act like a D-2 program which is all excited about beating a mediocre, NIT bound Washington team which still hasn't won a single road game this season. It makes our student section look pathetic and embarrassing. Thankfully the security turned them away.

Back to the game Mustafa Abdul Hamid was the hero but Tyler Honeycutt was tonight's MVP with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and an awesome block. It was somewhat of a breakout game as his offensive performance included couple crisp looking 3 pointers within the flow of the game. He is definitely getting into game shape. Going back to Hamid, I think he made a pretty good case of either keeping Jerime Anderson on the bench or limit his minutes for rest of the season.

As for other numbers, we did play decent defense against the Huskies as we limited them to 41.9 % FG shooting and our zone defense didn't hamper our ability to rebound as we outrebounded them 27 to 26. That once again brings up the question for me regarding why Howland didn't bother to try it out early against Arizona, which is somewhat a similar team just like the Huskies. Oh well.

We were also terrible from the FT line and missed number of layups and dunks thanks to Reeves Nelson's ability to finish inside. I will cut him some slack because he is still just a true freshman playing as undersized center. We can start to get worried if he is still having trouble finishing next season. Reeves still finished with a game high (for the Bruins) with 16 points and 6 rebounds including a clutch shot in the waning moments. Lee had 13 points while Rago chipped in 11.

Bruins played with a lot of "effort" and their bench was into it. Then again we saw the same scenarios on previous Thursday night against California and Arizona State. So forgive me for not getting too excited and worked up over this win.

That doesn't mean you can't get excited. Go right ahead. Just don't "rush" the thread and act like we just won a conference championship. With tonight's win Bruins limped to a record of 8-10 (3-3) while the Washington Huskies as implied in the title looks to be an NIT team with a record of 12-6 (3-4). So keep it all in perspective.

GO BRUINS.

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