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February 7, 2010UCLA lost to the Cal Bears tonight 72 to 58 in a game where the Bruins started off strong, leading by 14 points at the 11:52 mark of the first half, 22 to 8, and then collapsing for the rest of the game to lose by 14 points. UCLA ran off a 22 to 8 run at the beginning of the game and then watched the Bears eat into the Bruin's lead with a 29 to 8 run to lead at the half 37 to 30.
The second half was a little better at first as UCLA cut into Cal's lead to be down by three to five points until the 7:05 mark when the Bears once again pulled away from the Bruins to lead by 17 points with 1:41 left in the game, 72 to 55. UCLA hit the last bucket, a three pointer, to bring the difference down to 14 points at the end.
UCLA shot a reasonable 47.7 percent for the game but allowed Cal to shoot 54.7 percent. UCLA hit only 30.8 percent of its three pointers while Cal shot 41.7 percent from the three point line. Cal also out rebounded the Bruins 28 to 22 and got 16 assists to UCLA's 13. UCLA had 15 turnovers to Cal's 14 so turnovers were not a significant factor in the Bruin's loss.
This was an odd game as the Bruins came out on fire, hitting most of their shots, and then seemed to run out of gas for the rest of the game. UCLA got only one field goal for the next ten minutes as they went stone cold from the floor, while Cal caught fire and ran the table on the Bruins.
Michael Roll led the Bruins with 22 points on 9 for 14 shooting and 4 for 8 from the 3 point line. No other Bruin finished in double figures. Tyler Honeycutt got 9 points on 3 for 7 shooting; Malcolm Lee and Nikola Dragovic each got 7 points, Lee going 3 for 4 and Dragovic going 1 for 8 and 0 for 4 from the 3 point line. Reeves Nelson scored 6 points on 2 for 5 shooting, James Keefe got 4 points and Jerime Anderson scored 3 points.
For the Bears, Theo Robertson and Patrick Christopher each scored 20 points and Jerome Randle got 14.
This was another disappointing loss for UCLA as they gave up their brief lead in the Pac-10 to fall back into second place. With 5 of the next 7 Pac-10 games on the road with USC on next Sunday, the Bruins don't seem to be in a good position to take the conference lead back from Cal.
Every Pac-10 team has been inconsistent this season and the Bruins are as up or down as the rest of the conference teams. They will likely finish in the middle of the Pac and not go to the NCAA tournament this year. Mistakes in recruiting, early defections to the NBA and a youthful squad have limited the Bruin's ability to compete as usual for a run deep into the NCAAs.
Never the less, UCLA will bounce back and be nationally competitive with good recruiting classes coming in. The Bruins have the coaches to get it done and the talent is in line to make the Bruin fans happy once more. North Carolina is down this year, out of the top 25 like the Bruins, but everyone knows Roy Williams will be back on top again soon, and so will UCLA.
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