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News Roundup of Kyle's Bruins Win Over Colorado

Kyle also leads with his head as well as with his stats.
Kyle also leads with his head as well as with his stats.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

So do you like Hyberbole with some truth, ridiculous or over-the-top.  Or do you prefer your news downplayed.

Chris Foster does a little bit of all three in his story on the game on Kyle Anderson:

UCLA stayed above the muddle because Kyle Anderson conducted and the Bruins played.

. . . Anderson had a standard night - 22 points, 11 assists, seven rebounds. He had eight points and two assists in the final six minutes to make sure the Bruins didn't squander a 78-71 lead.

Yet, it was also hard to pick him out of the crowd in the second half. Five Bruins scored in double figures.

. . .But what set Anderson apart was his play in the first half, when the Bruins labored. His nine points and six assists were vital in keeping UCLA from collapse. Colorado led by as many as 12 points before the Bruins closed to within 40-36 at halftime.

Can we give Kyle the POY award now?  He always makes a difference.  This is his team now.

Let's keep the theme going from the Colorado side.

"Second half, holy cow, the flood gates opened," Boyle said.

UCLA hit 14 of its first 19 shots of the second half (73.7 percent) and made 62.5 percent of its shots (20 of 32) overall after the break.

"At the point that they were extending the lead, they were making their 3s and we were missing our 3s," Boyle said.

. . . "This is their home floor, so of course they're going to shoot lights out here and they're going to do what they're supposed to do to win," said Johnson, who had 14 points and nine rebounds for CU. "We weren't able to contain that. That's how we ended up with the loss."

Okay, Steve Alford does one thing better than Ben Howland.  So far this Bruin team does not lose games at home it is supposed to win.  However, against lesser teams at home, you can get away with taking a half off.

After opening the night on an 11-3 run, UCLA's offense slowly trickled to a stop. The team soon missed five straight field goals, then endured a stretch of possessions that included four turnovers and two misses. Not a single Bruin finished the first half with double-digit scoring.

Meanwhile, Colorado chipped away at the deficit - tying the game at 15 less than seven minutes in, then pulling away to lead by as much as 12. Over five minutes, the Buffs unleashed an 18-5 run.

Key to the effort was sophomore forward Josh Scott, who was unstoppable in the paint early on. He led all scorers at halftime with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, chipping in three rebounds a block, a steal. He even flushed in a dunk at the buzzer, bumping the lead to 40-36 going into the locker room.

It is a concerning trend.

UCLA has now trailed at halftime in five of its Pac-12 games, looking unusually lethargic in its last two outings. Steve Alford chalked up last Saturday's 37.1 percent first-half shooting at USC to having to work out of a loss, but had less to offer after beating Colorado.

Wang also has some interesting notes on the other story of the game Bryce Alford.

Bryce Alford continues to alternate good and bad shooting nights. In four of his last eight outings, he finished without a field goal for a combined 0-of-19. In his other four, he's 14-of-29.

His 14 points against Colorado may have been his best stretch this season. He hit four 3-pointers to tie his career high, including two that bumped UCLA's lead from 55-53 to 61-53 in 25 seconds.

"When you make two in a row, it ends up being a lot easier to score," he said. "Your eyes start opening up. The hoop seems to be a little bit bigger."

Good game Bryce.  We love you shooting the open three when you are hot.

Now UCLA has a chance to maybe, just maybe, creep into the National rankings again.  Then we will see more hype like the below.  As I said some reasonable hyperbole, some that causes you to lol but hey we had a good half in front of the big redhead on ESPN, so let it rip:

Anderson is one of the nation's most versatile players, with his ability to not only score but also rebound and distribute the basketball being one reason why UCLA has been the Pac-12′s most efficient offensive team in conference play. Against Colorado, Anderson accounted for 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds on a night that saw the Bruins shoot 56.5% from the field and 11-for-22 from beyond the arc.

Why did UCLA shoot so well? Partly because they shared the ball. 25 of the Bruins' 35 made field goals were assisted, with Jordan Adams (17 points, seven rebounds) and Norman Powell (ten points) accounting for four assists apiece and David Wear finishing with three assists to supplement the 11 credited to Anderson.

. . . What also bodes well for UCLA moving forward is the fact that Bryce Alford, who shot 3-for-14 in the three games prior, snapped out of his slump and scored 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Alford and fellow freshman Zach LaVine have been key pieces for UCLA this season due to their ability to provide scoring off the bench. This can help on nights when the front court struggles offensively, although the Wear twins and Tony Parker still need to be factors defensively and on the boards.

So how good can UCLA be? There's clearly plenty of talent at Steve Alford's disposal, with his 6-foot-9 floor general leading the way. But for all that talent, UCLA's fate in March will be determined by their commitment to defense and the consistency of their big men. With David Wear struggling, Travis Wear tallied 13 points and seven rebounds with Parker adding six points and five rebounds.

We win the next three games, we are legitimate in the March discussion where we should be based on talent.  (Of course if we keep alternating great halves with bad ones, we will only be in the March dance for one game.)  Kyle will get the attention he deserves and we will be on a roll.  Lose tomorrow or look bad up North next week and it is back to having Foster and Wang as the only reporters interested.

Go Bruins.