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UCLA Loses Again, This Time to Oregon State 69-63

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but a bad team lost another game.

NCAA Basketball: Utah at UCLA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know what you want me to say here. The UCLA Bruins went into Corvallis and lost a bad game to the Oregon State Beavers. Worse, Oregon State looked like the clearly better team.

The Bruins shot 37.9% from the field in this game. Bad.

Oregon State’s best shot was, shockingly, the 3 ball, as they went 7-17 from distance (a strong 41.2%) while the Bruins shot a measly 30.4% (7-23). But at least they made their free throws! Maybe playing ahead just causes this team to absolutely blow it from the FT line, like some kind of nervous tick.

Oregon State outscored the Bruins in the paint 33-22, and outrebounded the Bruins 45-37. Oh, the Bruins did make a more concerted effort to give Thomas Welsh more looks after last Saturday’s debacle, but there is no universe where Thomas Welsh should take almost half of his attempts from the field beyond the 3-point line. Well, except for this universe where some people keep pretending Steve Alford understands offense.

Aaron Holiday scored 22 points, but boy was that not an inspiring performance. Half of those points came from the FT line, as Holiday was 4-10 from the field, and he had more turnovers (4) than assists (3). And while Thomas Welsh had 13 rebounds, the next closest Bruin had 4. 4!!! The Beavers had 18 offensive rebounds! Seriously, I watched this game, and thought it was bad, but actually looking at the stats makes it even worse.

But hey, congrats to Oregon State. This is a big win for a rebuilding program, and the sign of a well-coached team is how well they can impose their will on the other team, and make no mistake, the Bruins were forced to play Beaver basketball. Oregon State ground the game to a halt for most of the game, and any time the Bruins got close, the Beavers would regroup and get some timely offense to stymie any Bruin comeback. And late in the game, when the Bruins had managed to retake the lead 60-59 with 3:24 remaining, the Beavers rattled off 8 straight points to essentially put the game away. The Beavers also had a balanced offense, with 5 players getting to double figures in points compared to a paltry 2 for the Bruins.

Oh yeah, and now the Bruins get to travel to Eugene and play an angry Oregon team that has lost 2 straight tough games. That should be fun.

But seriously, will no one rid me of this meddlesome coach?

Aaron Holiday led the Bruins with 22 points. Thomas Welsh led the team in rebounds with 13, while Kris Wilkes led the team in assists with 5. Tres Tingle led the Beavers with 16 points.

3 Takeaways

1. Player of the Game: Chris Smith - Smith played 14 minutes and still had the third-most points scored on the team (would have been tied for second had he not missed a FT), and I just can’t give this to anyone else and feel good about it. He had no turnovers! How did he only play 14 minutes when he looked like the only Bruin to give a damn when he was on the court!

2. Area of concern: Choose Your Own Adventure -

If you choose defense, flip to page 5.

If you choose offense, flip to page 2.

If you choose rebounding, flip to page 7.

If you choose coaching, you win! THE END.

3. At least I had fun on Twitter -

UCLA next plays Saturday against Oregon. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:15 PM.

Go Bruins.