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NIT Bound UCLA Loses to ASU

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UCLA loses 68-66 to a bad ASU team to severely hurt their NCAA chances.

Powell tried his best but his backcourt mates let UCLA down
Powell tried his best but his backcourt mates let UCLA down
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The top lines.

  • UCLA's starting guards shot 27 times, the Centers (Welsh and Parker) shot 3 times.
  • There were a lot of fouls called but the foul part was UCLA's ugly defense.  (Actually I am not sure Bryce even tried to play defense.)

The details.

A great start with a Norman Powell drive, the press made a ASU TO and Hamilton fed Looney inside.  ASU Coach Sendak called a real quick timeout.  Then Bryce went 0-2 with a turnover and UCLA was down and ASU was off to a 9-2 run.

The next run UCLA came back on the back of Norman Powell on a run of its own .  Powell scored and blocked shots.   He led UCLA out on a 14-2 run with Hamilton chipping in 7 points.

ASU was only in the game because Shaq Mckissic is good and ASU's power forward Goodman was getting a number of easy baskets.  Looney was not having a good night on D.

Even given that, UCLA could have been ahead bigger if not for Tony Parker playing awful and Bryce being horrid on D and bad at times on offense.    Because of Parker, we were bad inside losing rebounding 20-13.  As Kinglsook said  Noah Allen was the only one interested in rebounding and led us with 5 rebounds at half.   (Noah Allen tied his career high with 5 points in the first half including a banked in 3.  )

ASU closed the half out with a 9-2 run to make it  36-32 UCLA at half.

Then Parker and Alford continued to play awful to start the second half.  ASU went on a 7-0 run.  On one particularly ugly play Bryce simply stop chasing his man on an in bounds and Tony did a terrible lazy foul on the help.  UCLA's defense was horrid giving up a number of uncontested looks.

With over 8 left in the half Powell and Parker were on the bench with 4 fouls but ASU stars McKissic and Jacobsen were also sitting with 4 fouls.   At one point UCLA was playing with Allen, Goloman and Welsh in the front court as the lead went back and forth.  ASU was in the double bonus with over 6 minutes left.  But UCLA did not lose because of fouls.

Besides being bailed out and drawing some fouls Bryce played ugly.

Which brings us to the end of the game.  Late in the game, Hamilton took over at point.  He turned it over and then missed a forced three.

Then at the end with UCLA down 6 UCLA finally let its two best players take over.  Norman Powell scored back to back baskets and Kevon Looney was everywhere on defense.    But it was too little too late as ASU got a rebound on a missed a 3 and Looney fouled out.  Hamilton made an ugly scoop and missed a desperation three to end it.

ASU was not that good or magical.  Actually outside of McKissic they don't have much talent.  UCLA was terrible on defense, possibly the worst effort of the year as ASU probably could not shoot much better than 46% in an empty gym.

The guards scored the points but cost us the game, especially Bryce.  Waltonism of the night "GG and Welsh will never see that ball down low."