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November 29, 2009UCLA lost its third game in a row playing at the Anaheim 76 Classic to Long Beach St. after being completely outplayed by the 49ers in every facet of the game.
The Bruins were outscored by eleven points, out rebounded by ten boards 34 to 24 and out shot by eight percent 53.6% to 45.8%. This was a game where the Bruins simply did not try to win. They were out worked and out hustled by the 49ers all game long, and were down by 17 points twice in the second half 42 to 59 with 9:19 to go on a 18 to 3 run and again 61 to 44 at the 9 minute mark.
UCLA was playing better in the first half and were behind by one point 32 to 31 at the buzzer. But the second half was pure misery as Long Beach St. steadily moved ahead of the Bruins while UCLA remained stuck in the 40s and the 49ers moved into the 60s. This was one of the poorest efforts UCLA has produced in a long time and things don't look to get better without a lot of work and potential lineup changes.
For the game Michael Roll led UCLA with 23 points shooting 9 for 17and Malcolm Lee scored 9 points shooting 4 for 11 for the second game in a row. Anderson got 7 points on 3 for 5 and also got 6 assists with 2 turnovers. Reeves Nelson came off the bench to score 11 points on 5 for 5 shooting and also grabbed 8 boards to lead the Bruins in rebounding in just 22 minutes. Nikola Dragovic got 7 rebounds and 9 points on 2 for 10 shooting and 5 for 8 from the free throw line. He was 0 for 6 from three point land.
T.J. Robinson scored 25 points on 10 for 19 shooting and took 13 rebounds for the 49ers, Stephan Gilling added 13 points on 5 for 7 shots and Greg Plater scored 10 points.
Long Beach State's record is now 3-3 for the young season, while the Bruins fell to 2-4 with top ranked Kansas coming up next Sunday and Mississippi State on December 12th in the Wooden Classic at the Anaheim Honda Center.
The Bruins could very well start the season 2-6 as Kansas should have no trouble beating them and Mississippi State is a good team with lots of fine athletes.
To say that the Bruin team is a work in progress is a strong understatement at this time as they look to finish at or near the bottom of the Pac 10 Conference with this kind of performance. Their lack of effort was obvious and their skill levels at several positions is clearly hurting the team. Drew Gordon only put up two points in the game today and one rebound.
This may be the first game this year that Anderson getting more assists than turnovers, and James Keefe got 0 points going 0 for 2 from the floor in 12 minutes. Reeves Nelson looks good coming off the bench; Brendan Lane shows lots of promise and Tyler Honeycutt could add some skills to the team when he gets healthy. But this is too little to make this team get much better this season.
J'mison Morgan played seven minutes and went 1 for 1 along with a blocked shot which amounted to significant playing time for him. Mike Moser went 0 for 3 in his five minutes.
It's getting hard to see where the help is going to come from with these kinds of stats. The team is playing poorly and shows little hope for improvement. Lack of effort combined with shaky skill levels from too many players leaves the Bruin fans discouraged and wanting more. Coach Ben Howland has to go back to square one and remold this team completely if they are going to compete at anything close to a normal UCLA level.