Twin brothers David Wear #12 (L) and Travis Wear #24 did what they were told Thursday night and focused on OSU's guards. As a result UCLA got killed underneath. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
UCLA's offense played a good game but it was not enough. As Coach Ben Howland said:
"We shot 57 percent and lost," an incredulous Howland said. "That doesn't happen very often."
The reason UCLA lost was part of their defense was awful. It forced the offense to be perfect. The offense had two bad streaks, waiting 3 and half minutes to score its first bucket and falling down 8-0. UCLA crawled back from that to take a 10-9 lead. But in the second half a similar lull happen and UCLA was to fall behind and never overcome that.
Never was the mismatch in tempo more evident than a short stretch midway through the second half, with the game still very much undecided.
After Bruins center Joshua Smith tied the game at 51, Oregon State went on a 7-0 run to regain control as UCLA committed three straight turnovers.
"They hurt us by speeding us up," UCLA head coach Ben Howland said. "We got sped up; one time we had a 3-on-2 and instead of attacking the basket, we're pulling up for a three and Jerime (Anderson) threw it away to (Tyler) Lamb. We made some mistakes like that when we were going faster than we were used to going. We let the pressure get to us."
Added Anderson: "That was definitely the turning point in the game. It gave them a little momentum and they carried it until the end of the game. We were never able to get all the way back, close to even tying."
The offense was not perfect. They made mistakes but if this was football you would say the offense did its job. The problem was they had to be almost perfect to win because the defense was so bad:
The 87 points were the most UCLA has given up this season and the Beavers' highest output against the Bruins since a 97-96 double-overtime win in 1991.
Before the game the experts at Bruin Report Online wrote the game hinged on CBH playing a zone. CBH played it for only four possessions. While it did not work in those four possessions, you would have think he would have tried it a bit more when the other team is shooting 58% with maybe different personnel?
When we went to the zone, they scored three of the four times so we went away from it," Lazeric Jones said.
The scary thing was the way Oregon State got their points. Yes their PG made some shots including a long three pointer to give OSU the lead at halftime. Many of his shots were tough and decently defended. Jared Cunningham got his points but many came late in the game when UCLA was desperately fouling. It was inside where OSU KILLED UCLA.
"They got a lot of baskets right around the rim," Jones said. "Their guards made a lot of good shots. They made some tough shots, but a lot came right under the rim. Hook shots, layups, stuff defensively we have to stop."
Forward David Wear said the defensive game plan was centered on stopping Cunningham and Starks and the Oregon State post surprised the Bruins off guard a little bit.
"We got caught off guard because we were focusing mainly on Cunningham and their guards," Wear said. "The posts were kind of sneaking under us and establishing deep position and getting us in trouble that way. We gave up way too many easy buckets."
Devon Collier added 20 points and repeatedly burned Bruins defenders in the paint.
"We got hurt today in the paint with out defense," Howland said.
"They just kept giving it to me," Collier said, "and I just kept going to work."
Because UCLA was unwilling to go zone, unprepared for OSU's Collier (who scored 21 his last game against ASU), and was unable to adjust, the good offensive game was wasted. Jerime Anderson had a career best 9 assists, Lazeric Jones had 8 assists to only one turnover, and the Wear Twins shot 16-22 but it didn't matter. Sorry Jerime I have to disagree with you:
"This loss is on us," Anderson said.
For the UCLA players did what they were told to do. Sure they had a few lasps but OSU guards were 12-26 with some of those buckets late. The rest of the team, the bigs were 17-24. The game plan was to stop the guards. CBH your players, for the most part, executed well on offense and okay against the key part of OSU's offense (their guards) and still lost because UCLA couldn't handle OSU's bigs, at all.
CBH you need an answer Saturday against the Ducks. Your team is working hard but your time is running out.