The UCLA Bruins went into Missouri with the hopes of beating the Tigers for two years in a row, but fell very short behind a defenseless second half, losing 80-71.
They first half brought on a lot of what we know about UCLA: up-tempo offense and unaggressive defense. It was 43-35 at halftime, with the game resulting in the Bruins being able to outscore the Tigers rather than stopping them on the defensive side. Although, Missouri did not do themselves any favors as they went 5 for 14 behind the three-point line in the first half. The majority of their misses resulted in Bruin fast breaks.
UCLA had a 13-point lead at one point at looked to be running away with it. Zach LaVine was at it again as he showed everyone in the nation what he can do with a massive slam dunk. Unfortunately, LaVine and the rest of the Bruins were quiet for the remainder of the game.
Things shifted mightily for the Tigers in the second half. The shots that weren’t falling in the first, came plentiful in the second. A combination of hot 3-point shooting by Missouri and paper-thin Bruin defense allowed the Tigers to bull through this game.
Missouri had 45 points in the second compared to 28 of the Bruins. Three tigers had 20 or more points, Jabari Brown (22), Jordan Clarkson (21) and Earnest Ross (20). Add to that, Missouri destroyed UCLA on the boards 43-28. You will not get a lot of possessions that way.
Between the big guys, Wanaah Bail, Tony Parker, David Wear and Travis Wear, there were only seven rebounds. Leading Bruin scorer, Jordan Adams, put up 22 points and was UCLA’s leading rebounder, with ten. That tells you all you need to know.
Kyle Anderson, who has been averaging nearly eight assists a game, only had two. Yikes, indeed.
On the plus side, you can imagine head coach Steve Alford would put the pressure on learning defense, because if not, UCLA are going to be playing catch up a lot this season.