Well that was better than losing to Cal State Fullerton. The "new season" is off to a better start than the old one for Ben Howland's UCLA as the Bruins hold on to beat Arizona Wildcats by a score of 75 to 69. Here is the boxscore. Bruins got a huge boost from the return of forward Reeves Nelson who along with rest of the team did a pretty good job styming Wildcats forward Derrick Williams most of the game.
Nelson finished the game with 19 points, 11 rebounds (4 offensive), 3 assists, and a steal making 8 out of his 9 field goals. Although he made number of freshmen mistakes and made only 50 percent of his FT shots, he served as emotional center of this team through the whole game. Nelson came through for his "mentor" Bruin senior Michael Roll, who himself had a great game with 19 points and 4 steals.
As hard we have been on you know all season, Rag contributed somewhat with 18 points which included 10 out of 12 makes from the FT line. Don't get too carried away though. Rag still had a horrible shooting night with 9 bricks (3 out of 12) and as usual was below average on the defensive side. His team-mates had to cover up his mistakes and for the decent scoring game he had today, it means he will take his game down whole another notch tomorrow night.
So the Bruins extend their season by getting into the "Final-4." Yeah, print out those t-shirts now. Before anyone gets too excited we are going to take on either Oregon or Cal. We don't matchup well against any of those teams because both of them have athletic and speedy backcourts. We can't also count on our guys to come back with 40 minutes of effort and defense because we got what we were going to get this afternoon at Staples.
Anyway, look at the bright said as pointed out by britishbruin: we are now "guaranteed no worse than a .500 record in the New Season!" It would be interesting if Nelson and co. can continue to play inspired and extend the season for at least another game. Yet it is not going to happen.
We got our win on a Thursday. You know what happens to a Ben Howland team when the weekend comes around. Not going to hold my breath.