Looney rips off piece of basket, USC’s heart in Bruins’ win
There were a couple of messages sent by the UCLA Bruins on Wednesday night: look out below for Kevon Looney coming down after a thunderous tip jam — and beware of falling objects after said tip jam.
Looney is a beast. Quite possibly, the Bruins’ best player. And a matchup nightmare as he proved against USC inside the Galen Center during the Bruins 83-66 win.
The game turned quickly and Looney had a huge part to do with it.
UCLA led 36-31 at halftime and then Looney, who had seven points within the first seven minutes of the half, and company erupted at the start of the second half.
Looney had a tip jam of a Tony Parker miss that caused a piece of the basket to fall off for two of his 12 points. It was a basket in which Looney took no prisoners — not even his own teammates.
"It was the first time it happened to me (because) I’m not that big, so for me to bring something down was a big thing for me," Looney said. "I said something to Tony (Parker) because Tony was under there. I dunked on Tony so I let him know about it."
The media timeout couldn’t come at a better time for Andy Enfield and his Trojans. All of a sudden the Bruins were up by 16 with just under 16 minutes to play in the second half.
Looney nearly single-handedly exposed USC’s weakness.
"Rebounding is our weakness," Enfield admitted.
The UCLA freshman had 10 rebounds, finishing with a double-double. USC had 20 rebounds as a team.
UCLA head coach Steve Alford said it was just good for his team to be back home in Southern California. It allowed Looney to have a resurgence of sorts following the team’s travels that took them to Chicago and back. Tuscaloosa and back. And also the Rocky Mountain schools to begin Pac-12 play.
The Bruins lost five in a row before sweeping the Bay Area schools at home last week.
Looney, the reigning Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week, continued his form Wednesday night.
"We got back home and got to stay in our dorms and go to class again," Looney said. "It’s good to do something besides basketball and we got to go home and play in front of the great fans at Pauley and so it just gave us momentum."
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) January 15, 2015
The Trojans will be sleeping in their own beds as well Wednesday night but that may not stop some of them from having nightmares about Looney.