Latest Team Rankings
Free Text Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
February 3, 2012
The Bruins (12-10, 5-5 Pac 12) lost another heartbreaker on the road. They just can't seem get over the hump on the road. In four conference games away from Los Angeles, the Bruins had a legitimate shot to win three of them. Their two games on the road UCLA surrendered big leads.
While it is obvious the Bruins are much improved team than they were in the beginning of the season they still need to find a way to win these tough road battles.
"I thought for 34 minutes we really played tough, really played smart," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "We made some really bad mistakes (in the last few minutes).
"Number one is costly fouls," Howland said. "We're up ten, Joshua Smith misses a shot and they get the rebound, I think there's 5:43 to go, No. 23 (C.J. Wilcox) goes to the line and shoots a 1-and-1. Then a miss, then we foul again to stop the clock. So right away we give up four points. ?Not smart plays.?
"Give Terrence Ross credit," Howland said. "Ross did a great job; I thought Ross really took over down the stretch. He had 18 points in the second half and we did not have an answer for Ross."
Howland still found a silver lining in this very tough loss.
"I was really proud of the way our team played in a difficult environment," Howland said. "It was just disappointing to lose this after preparing so hard in practice.
"I thought Josh (Smith) played terrific today," Howland said. "But our defense - they shot 52 percent -- and our inability to attack to zone in the last five minutes.
"We got a little discombobulated and we had a couple of turnovers," Howland said. "We didn't execute some things down the stretch offensively, which starts with me.
For the second season in a row, Smith had an excellent game in his home town in a losing cause.
"It's really too bad," Howland said about Smith. "He played very well in front of his family and friends and did a great job. He was really a force inside for us all night.
"I thought he was really up for the game because he was coming back home, playing in front of his mom and dad and his brothers," Smith said. "I'm really proud of him; I'm just disappointed that his best performance of the year came in a loss."
The Bruins had a chance to tie of win the game, but on the last play of the game the Bruins came up short.
"We were trying to get something inside, something to the opposite side and nothing presented itself," Howland said. "It actually wasn't that bad of a shot, he (Norman Powell) kind of fell away a little bit, but it wasn't a terrible shot."
With last night's loss, that makes it eight in row when the Bruins play in Seattle. Howland explains why the Bruins have had problems in the Alaska Airlines Arena.
"They have very good teams and they've been very good every year," Howland said. "It's a great, loud environment because it's built right on top of you. Obviously it was a great advantage for them."
The Bruins will now try and get their first conference road win in another tough environment in Pullman.
Rick Kimbrel is the publisher of BruinBlitz.com. You can email him at email@example.com or follow him on twitter at @BruinBlitzcom.