Oh My! Shorthanded Bruins Get Crushed by Southern Cal, 66-48
UCLA was missing both Cody Riley and Jalen Hill tonight against the Trojans.
The casual UCLA fan who tuned in tonight to watch the Bruins’ game against Southern Cal might just have thought that Steve Alford was still the team’s head coach. That’s how bad tonight’s game was.
To be sure, the Bruins were missing both Cody Riley and Jalen Hill tonight. Riley is currently out with an ankle injury while Hill missed the game due to “personal reasons” as the ESPN announcing crew of Dave Pasch and Bill Walton reminded viewers about every ten seconds. And, they needed to do that because the Bruins were playing that bad.
UCLA was able to keep the game close for the first fourteen minutes or so in the first half. Things started off well enough for the Bruins. Johnny Juzang got the first bucket of the game to give UCLA a 2-0 lead, though, the Trojans tied it on the next possession. Jaime Jaquez, Jr. made a layup allowing the Bruins to re-take the an early lead and a Tyger Campbell jumper made it 6-2.
But, then, UCLA ran out of gas.
To be fair, they kept it close for a while and only trailed by three, 21-18, with six minutes left in the half but, when you only score once in those six minutes, your opponent is going to take advantage — and the Trojans certainly took advantage of that situation. Southern Cal knocked out not one, not two, but three three-pointers to quadruple their lead with a minute to go. The Bruins’ only answer was a Mac Etienne layup with 43 ticks left on the clock. As a result, Southern Cal led UCLA 30-20 at the break.
In the second half, the Bruins managed to cut the lead to seven points three different times, but the last time came with 13:11 left when Juzang hit a jumper and was fouled by Mobley. Juzang’s free throw made it 41-34.
Over the final thirteen minutes, the Trojans outscored the Bruins, 25-14, crushing whatever fight UCLA had left.
Juzang was the only Bruin to score in double figures. Jaquez, Campbell and Jake Kyman off the bench each added seven points. Juzang also led the team with 13 rebounds and tied Campbell for the lead in assists. Each player had four.
Meanwhile, Ethan Anderson came off the bench to drill five three-pointers for the Trojans to lead them with 19 points while Tahj Eaddy added three more from behind the arc, finishing with 16 points. The Mobley brothers didn’t score a lot of points for the Trojans, but Isaiah grabbed 11 rebounds while Evan had nine boards with four blocks.
It’s really easy to say that the Bruins lost because they were missing Hill and Riley. But I’ve got to say that the duo may have just made this one less ugly. It was a big reminder that we are still just a little over two years removed from having Steve Alford coaching the squad.
Mick Cronin needs to do a better job of having his team prepared to play with or without Riley and Hill. There really isn’t much else to be said about this one.