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DEMOLITION @ Pauley ...

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Thank God for Ben Howland and UCLA basketball. Aaron Afflalo and co. last night let out a clear cut message to Tim Floyd and his pathetic Trojies:

When Tim Floyd was named USC's coach a year ago, he spoke about Arizona being the measuring stick for his program.

But after No. 18 UCLA embarrassed USC 66-45 on Wednesday in front of 13,037 at Pauley Pavilion to remain atop the Pacific-10 standings, perhaps it's time to adjust the stick.

"It's us now," UCLA sophomore Arron Afflalo said after scoring 11 points and playing suffocating defense on former high school teammate Gabe Pruitt. "It's still very early, but right now, despite all our injuries, we still feel in our heart we're an elite ballclub."

Much like on the gridiron, when USC pummeled the Bruins six weeks earlier, the drama ended early in Westwood as the Bruins opened the game with an 18-2 run. Jordan Farmar had nine of his game-high 15 points in that eight-minute run, and USC never recovered.
Howland's Bruins throttled the Trojans ("throttling Trojans" - now when will I get to type that when writing about football under Karl Dorrell?) in every aspect of the game. It was TOTAL DOMINATION at Pauley:
UCLA improved to 15-3 and maintained its hold on first place in the Pacific 10 Conference at 5-2 with the same formula that has worked for much of the season: strong defense, efficient offense and solid rebounding.

The Trojans, on the other hand, looked at times, especially in the first half, as if they were playing together for the first time. There were gaping holes in their defense, at least four Trojan passes sailed far out of reach of their intended targets, and their outside shooting game, the key to their attack, all but disappeared in the first half.

"That was real embarrassing," said USC's Lodrick Stewart. "I felt we were prepared coming in, but they beat us at everything we had to do: rebounding, defense, everything."

Said UCLA Coach Ben Howland, "I thought it was the best defense we have played this season for 40 minutes."
BBR has a wrap up of the game here, and also one of our bloggers had this to write about a rocking Pauley:
pauley was rockin tonight!! the game was fantastic, except my seats were a bit close to the trojan band. the only thing that needs to be said about suc is that they looked terrible. their highlight for me was floyd getting hit with a technical, flipping out and throwing a paper ball at one of his assistants.

the bruin defense was smothering all night. i was happy to see no signs of letting up during the second half. once we had our heel on the trojan throats, we never let up.

the offense looked a bit off tonight. farmar had a nice game and hollins had a surprisingly decent showing (despite atleast two missed dunks and one missed easy layup). afflalo wasnt getting any decent looks and really wasnt a factor at all in the offense. prince luc once again owned the boards. this kid is amazing for having only played basketball for five years! over all the offense seemed sloppy and out of sync. many times we wasted the entire shot clock and were forced to hurry a poor shot.

it was great to see calvin kim get a few mins and almost hit a jumper. funniest moment was when the trojan slut squad ran onto the court during a timeout and the ref ran them off. classic!
Yes he wasn't kidding about Kim. He is in the Times:


Photo credit: Alexander Gallardo, LA TIMES

Now that's how we like to kill Trojans. Again thank God for Ben Howland. GO BRUINS.