I don't know what it is about UCLA and Kyle Fogg but Sean Miller should convince that kid that every opponent is secretly representing the Los Angeles campus for the University of California every time the ball gets rolled out onto the court. It was a first half that was almost reminiscent of the first few games of the OOC schedule. Turnovers, missed assignments, foul trouble inside, shooting that resembled a game in an auto shop, clunkers abounded. UCLA played steady ball but lacked that certain something to put the Cats away, but they certainly looked to be in charge at halftime, up by 10.
In the second half, it started like the first, the Cats managed to get down by another 7 to make the lead 17. Derrick Williams picked up his 4th foul. Tyler Hunnicutt looked like the light bulb had gone off and Michael Roll was doing a bit of everything, clearing the defensive boards, making the extra pass, as well as, hitting the open look; something the Cats had been unable to do in the first half.
Something happened, Miller stumbled upon a combination that sparked a lil more effort, a little bit of confidence and he managed to fan that flame until it became a fire, Nic Wise made a few free throws, MoMo Jones penetrated, dished, hit mid range and deep jumpers. Kyle Fogg got nasty and started to look like he was taking the lackluster play personally. The cats backcourt took over, they sliced into the lane, they pulled up, they made some open shots and then they returned the defensive favor by amping up the pressure in UCLA. The Bruins out shot the Cats in the first half 51 to 38%. The game ended with the shooting percentages in the Cats favor in the by the end of the 2nd half compiling a 51 to 45 percentage for the game. Granted the Bruins were lacking a presence in the center, but DWill had been effectively stymied with foul trouble and only 12 points (and only shooting 50% from the FT line). It was all about the guard play and it wasn't even Nic Wise, it was MoMo and Kyle who ledge the charge, got their teammates fired up and the defensive intensity was the fisrt to arrive that was closely followed by offensive opportunity. Kyle ended up with a new scoring high of 26 and he was closely followed by MoMo's crucial 16.
It was an unlikely comeback, despite how welcome the result, yet while these Cats may not be the most consistent group, they are showing a certain mettle and resiliency that is refreshing to watch.