In a way senior night was a microcosm of the season. First a bad half as Steve Alford said:
"It was a very interesting halftime. I was not happy with our effort at all in the first half. We haven't had many halves like that in the first half. It was like that in Corvallis. Our effort in the second half was much like what we are. This Oregon State team is a hard matchup. They gave us some problems. I was proud of the team in the second half. They did a lot of good things in the second half."
Actually Steve we have had many bad halves like this and the Oregon State series is an example of what has happened throughout the season. UCLA wins these games at home and loses them on the road.
In the end, Kyle and Jordan Adams were too good and too much at home for a bad Oregon State team:
The Bruins found out just how reliant they really are on Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams during Thursday's double-overtime loss to Oregon and their returns from their one-game suspensions Sunday only underscored their importance.
After falling behind in a sloppy first half, it was Adams and Anderson that led the Bruins out of the funk and to a 74-69 over Oregon State Sunday night in the final game of the season at Pauley Pavilion. Adams scored 24 points with five rebounds and three assists and Anderson 14 points with nine rebounds and five assists. . . .
It was Adams that sparked a 15-2 run in the second half, bringing the Bruins back from a four-point deficit to a four-point lead. They played a much more characteristic transition game and held the Beavers off for a win that ended their skid at just two games.
Adams apologized for his behavior that led to the suspension:
"We would like to apologize to our fans, our families and our coaching staff and teammates for having not played in that last game due to our issues. And we'd like to thanks our teammates and all of our fans for their support, still, after having missed the Oregon game."
UCLA did not lock up second place in the PAC 12 but did lock up a first round bye in the PAC 12 tournament. UCLA is safely in the NCAA tournament but seeding is now the issue. If the PAC 12 tournament were today, UCLA would play the winner of the Oregon State v. Oregon game. Steve Alford and UCLA may not like that match up with Oregon State:
on the matchups presented by Oregon State
"When you get to this point, matchups are a huge key. We're not blessed with an abundance of big size up front. We are who we are. With Stanford, we beat them soundly here, but we had a tough half there. This team [Oregon State] is an even tougher matchup. They have more size and can play guys at a 3 or 4. When you have a scorer like Roberto Nelson, it just stretches you. We were better in the second half. We had 11 steals, had nine in the transition game, got to the free throw line, and we ran a better offense."
This seems a bit strange to me because, yes Oregon State has size and Moreland can be a beast but they are poorly coached and out of control.
A sign of that was the first seven points for Oregon State were scored by Angus Brandt, then UCLA adjusted and he scored two the rest of the game. Oregon State is a team that is relatively easy for a coach to out coach them. Once UCLA adjusted on Brandt and other bigs like Collier, Oregon State had no answer for him:
After upsetting UCLA in Corvallis last month, OSU hung around all night at Pauley Pavilion - keeping all 9,873 fans in their seats until the final buzzer. The Beavers' athletic big men measure up well against the Bruins' middling post defense, and they exploited the matchup almost immediately.
Center Angus Brandt scored the team's first seven points. Oregon State scored 16 of its first 26 points in the paint. By halftime, Brandt, Devon Collier and Eric Moreland - all of whom stand at least 6-foot-8 - had combined for 16 points.
"They really try to pound it inside," UCLA forward Travis Wear said. "There's not a lot of teams in our league that try to consistently go in the post as much as we do. ... That gets tiring sometimes."
The Bruins shot 50 percent from the 3-point line in the second half, and attempted 17 free throws. They held Oregon State to 38.5 percent shooting. Brandt only scored two points in the second half.
How simple is it to adjust to Oregon State, again Steve Alford:
"It was a good adjustment by Dave [Wear] and Tony [Parker]. Tony had some tough times against Devon Collier until we reminded him that he was left-handed, then he adjusted well to post play. Early in this game, we were hurt with post play, but our low post play got better as the game went on. [Angus] Brandt went in with 10-straight double-figure games, and he had nine points today. I thought that was good for our post players."
Of course this begs the question, why not be ready in the first half. For example, Collier did not switch hands at halftime. I realize most are going to focus on lackluster effort in the first half but part of that was not being prepared on defense. Oregon State is not a team that is going to surprise you.
In the end UCLA got a win and secured a bye in the PAC 12 tournament for Senior Night. The last words go to seniors David Wear and Aubrey Williams:
UCLA forward David Wear
"You look back at the games, and it goes by very fast. I can't be happier than to finish the home season this way, with a win. From starting in the old Pauley, going to the Sports Arena, and then back to the New Pauley, it's been an experience. It hasn't really sunk in yet, that I won't be playing here anymore."
UCLA guard Aubrey Williams
"It was great [getting playing time on Senior Night], and it was bittersweet. This is a family like no other, and I'm going to cherish every moment."
Thank you Aubrey, David and Travis. Go Bruins.