UCLA lost the second half by 17 points yesterday, 45-28. Let's start with what went wrong on offense from Steve Alford.
"We had one assist in the second half," he said. "That hasn't happened to us all year."
On Defense it was something we have seen before in the UCSB game. UCSB faltered at the end because they had only one inside player and lacked depth or elite athletes. Missouri did not have any of those issues.
Ross hit two of his five three-pointers on consecutive possessions about 5 minutes into the second half, helping Missouri erase an eight-point halftime deficit and defeat No. 18 UCLA 80-71 Saturday at Mizzou Arena.
"I was just shooting because I knew once I get hot it was pretty cool," Ross said. "I was shooting open threes, so as the guards were driving I would just head to the corners or to the top of the key and knock down open shots."
The back-to-back three-pointers capped a 12-1 run and gave Missouri a 51-50 lead - its first since going up 17-16 in the first half - but Ross wasn't finished. . . .
"We were much better shooting the ball because we ran our offense in the second half and we played inside-out," Haith said. "We had player movement. We had ball movement. When you take those shots off of that, then those are great shots for me."
One player had a good reason for being off this game. I thought Adams left it all on the court others thought he was too selfish. Regardless, Jordan Adams seemed to be pressing and maybe it was because his family was there, especially his sick mother.
A van full of Jordan Adams' biggest fans will trek 10 hours Friday night into Saturday morning to watch UCLA's leading scorer and his teammates take on Missouri, their most formidable opponent of the season.
Included in the group will be a mother still unable to speak seven months after suffering a stroke and a grandmother recently free of cancer who raves about Adams online and is finally healthy enough to see the Bruins play in person. Also making the journey from suburban Atlanta to Columbia, Mo., will be a devoted 7-year-old sister who watches every game she can and a father whose discipline helped make a sharpshooter.
In early May, the Friday before Mother's Day brought a more urgent call. Johnson, 42 at the time, was hospitalized after the stroke. Two hours earlier, she had been discussing plans with John's mother for a family party when Adams returned for summer break.
. . ."I asked her, 'Do you want me to transfer closer back here or stay at UCLA?' and she just nodded," he said. "That was my key to staying here."
We hope your Mom gets better Jordan.
While Jordan had a reason, the rest of the team did not. The Wears had another bad game against the team that last year they had their best game. But the statistics for the team are ugly based on a terrible second half, starting with 47 rebounds to 30. As Jack Wang notes:
UCLA's season-low in scoring came on just 37.7 percent shooting, going 8-of-31 in the second. Sophomore guard Jordan Adams had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine each had 13 points.
Travis and David Wear combined for four points in 43 minutes.
The first half UCLA looked good. Zach LaVine and Bryce Alford were key.
The Bruins shot 50 percent from the field and forced 12 Missouri turnovers in the first half, but shot 8-of-31 in the second half.
. . .The teams traded baskets for the first 10 minutes before a 3-pointer by Bryce Alford sparked a 14-0 run that gave the Bruins a 30-17 lead with 6:47 left before the break. Missouri answered with the next 11 points, but UCLA then countered with the following eight for a 38-28 lead. LaVine finished the run with a thunderous windmill dunk.
But in the end the Missouri Coach Haith adjusted and Steve Alford had no answer.
The Tigers made key adjustments. Haith wanted to stop UCLA guard Kyle Anderson from penetrating and passing off. He wanted his team to rebound harder and take away three-point looks.
. . . And that's when the Bruins stopped moving the ball on offense, their usual fast pace grinding to a halt with too many poor shot selections. . . .
Missouri's backcourt trio scored 20 or more points each with a combination of transition baskets and 42% shooting from three-point range.
UCLA's next game is another joke against may be the worst team they have played yet, Prairie View A.M. Panthers. That will be the last easy game before the PAC 12. It will be crunch time after that, how will Alford answer?