Twas a few nights after Christmas and all through Westwood
Only Bruin basketball fans were stirring, for a battle on the hardwood.
With defense be damned and an offensive surge,
These Bruins would have points, for which they would purge.
Would Alabama roll Tide, or would a losing streak they would ride?
UCLA knew what they were doing, as all along, a victory was bruin.
It’s all over people! The fight of the night was not from Las Vegas, but from Pauley Pavilion in Westwood. The UCLA Bruins took down the Alabama Crimson Tide, 75-67.
In their first game in almost a week, the UCLA Bruins took their time getting to a victory over a mid-tier SEC basketball team. UCLA had an early lead indicative of a fast and painless victory, but in no time, Alabama figured out how to stall the Bruin offense, resulting in a 34-33 halftime lead.
The second-half brought more of the same, as it was a back-and-forth battle between two teams that do not seem to have a solid identity. Still, UCLA was able to figure out how to play defense in the last minute of the game, which solidified the victory over a decent Alabama team. Only decent.
As he did in the previous game, Tony Parker, was able impose his will and collect a team high, 16 points for UCLA in this game. Time and again he was able to a move underneath the basket and muscle his way to some often times, pretty difficult shots.
As of late, Parker has found himself coming off the bench, though he began the season as a starter. It was due to a lack of production in the points and rebounds department that had forced head coach Steve Alford to replace him with Travis Wear, who missed the start of the season due to appendicitis.
As of recently, Parker has come to play and it is good.
One of the low points of the game was that of both point guards Kyle Anderson and Bryce Alford’s all-too-often mistakes, especially with their inept of ball handling. Several turnovers led to Crimson Tide points throughout the game, which was the primary reason they were able to keep running with the Bruins. As for UCLA as a whole, they did not need to push the game, they need to control it.
This was the first game UCLA had played this season that was not a blowout. All their victories have basically been blowouts and in their losses, they have basically been blown out. C’est la vie. This was the first game where they had to face the pressure of finishing a game. And you know what? They finished the game with an exclamation point.
The defense of the Bruins came up big, as they were able to lock down Alabama and pull out a solid victory. The Crimson Tide had several attempts to try to make it a close game, but Parker came alive and was able to pull down a few crucial rebounds as well as sink some late free throws. What was pretty much a downtrodden game, ended with passion. These Bruins are still learning, they are still growing, and they will fight till the end. That much is true.
For now, it is time to focus on conference play.