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UCLA Beats Alabama on Parker's Shoulders

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Great second half by Tony leads to the win

Stephen Dunn

A 74-67 UCLA win over Alabama was a tell of two halves.

At the 12 minute mark in the first UCLA led 20-9.  Kyle Anderson was dominating the game in every facet and except for some missed layups under pressure by Adams, UCLA was looking good.  Then two things happen, (1)Trevor Releford of Alabama took over and (2)Bryce killed UCLA.  The following sequence sums it up: Bryce took a bad shot, Releford scored, Releford stole the ball from Bryce and drew a foul for two free throws, then Bryce took another bad shot.  After that it was all Releford and UCLA went cold.  Yes an Alabama press helped them and hurt UCLA, but it was Bryce and Releford that changed the game.But Bryce played more minutes in the first half than Zach or Norman.

In the second half, Alford realized something really obvious, Alabama has nothing inside.  Tony Parker missed a few passes but was good on the offensive boards and was able to take advantage of Alabama on the inside with a dominant second half.  Meanwhile UCLA kept letting Releford shoot open threes as he was having a career game and kept Alabama in the game.  But Tony made two clutch free throws and grabbed his first defense rebound on a Releford miss that would have tied the game in the waning seconds.  After two Travis Wear free throws, Parker iced it with a block shot.

UCLA beat a solid team tonight because they won the second half as they took advantage of a matchup.  If Alford can do this through out the season, this team can go far.  If he doesn't get the rotation right (like the first half) look for UCLA to lose some winnable games.

Great game Tony Parker 6-7, 4-5 from the line, with 4 offense rebounds.