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Deja Bru-ins: UCLA Runs Out of Gas; Loses NCAA First Four Play-in, 65-58

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It’s time for Steve Alford to go away.

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins came out for the first half on fire. In the first four minutes of the game, UCLA went up 14-5.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, they sputtered the rest of the way. Over the next five minutes, the St. Bonaventure Bonnies came back and tied the game. While UCLA would briefly take a small lead again, it didn’t last long.

At the 4:52 mark, Courtney Stockard hit a pair of free throws that put the Bonnies ahead 23-22 and the Bonnies would take a five-point lead at the half.

The problem in the first half, and the entire game for that matter, was a lack of direction and game planning. It was as if Steve Alford told the team to just go out and shoot from three-point range, instead of, you know, having an actual game plan to get the ball down low and make the most of the Bruins’ height advantage.

The second half wasn’t much better.

While the Bonnies would stretch their lead to seven early in the second half, the Bruins weren’t done yet. Less than five minutes into the half, the Bruins had retaken the lead.

For the most part, UCLA held onto that lead until there was just 6:37 left. It didn’t take long, however, for St. Bonaventure to get their seven-point lead back. With 4:05 left, the Bonnies had done just that.

Aaron Holiday actually tied it back up once again, 58-58, with just 1:11 left.

But, as has happened so many times this season, the Bruins ran out of gas again. While St. Bonaventure would go on to score 7 points in the time remaining, the Bruins would score nothing. ZIP. ZERO. ZILCH. AGAIN.

If you were watching on TV, it was as if you were watching a replay of last week’s overtime against Arizona.

And, just as fast as UCLA had been selected for this year’s NCAA Tournament, the Bruins are heading home.

Once again, Steve Alford’s poor coaching has let the Bruins, and Bruin fans, down.

It’s time that Dan Guerrero recognize that Steve Alford should not be coaching Bruin basketball. As soon as the team returns to Los Angeles, Guerrero needs to give Alford his walking papers.

Enough is enough.


Go Bruins.