UCLA Basketball: Lonzo Ball Lights a 2nd Half Fire Under Bruins in Win Over Oregon State
The UCLA Basketball team got another boost from freshmen Lonzo Ball as the Bruins were able to pull away in the 2nd half from cellar dweller Oregon State.
It happened for a second straight game. The UCLA Basketball team needed a second half run to pull away for another Pac-12 victory.
With freshmen Lonzo Ball, a Wooden Award candidate, leading the charge in the second half, the Bruins were able to put away the Beavers and erase the horrible memory of an uninspired first half.
Things were sloppy before halftime against the conference’s worst team. Despite starting out 6-0, the Bruins appeared lackadaisical in their approach to the game. Proof of that came when Oregon State countered the Bruins’ quick start with an immediate 10-point run.
Throughout the first half, the Bruins and Beavers traded the lead five times as Oregon State kept it surprisingly close. “Boring” was the keyword, especially on social media.
But luckily, as we have seen all season long, the Bruins are a second half team and have on many occasions been able to turn on the afterburners coming out of the break.
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) February 13, 2017
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) February 12, 2017
UCLA came out on fire, with the help of freshman phenom Ball.
Behind his 22 point, 9 assist performance, the Bruins were able to go from shooting 46.7% in the first half to making 57.6% of their shots in the second half. The offense was non-existent before halftime, but with Ball taking charge, it finally showed up.
Despite the lack of offense, the Bruins continued their defensive output and limited OSU to just over 40% shooting for the game. Collectively, the Bruins had 8 steals, 4 blocks and won the rebounding battle, 37-29.
Like they did against Oregon, UCLA showed that they can be more than an offensive threat with defensive capabilities, which will help as the season progresses if their shots are not falling.
The Bruins are still two games out of first place in the Pac-12 behind Arizona and have an outside chance to win the conference. They will continue to pursue that goal next Saturday when they take on USC.
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