UCLA smashes Arizona, 71-49

UCLA head coach Ben Howland was all tears, done in by the sheer emotion of the occasion.
His players were all smiles, simply elated because of a tremendous performance.
One grinned bigger, though, because of both.
The final basket in the current Pauley Pavilion was dropped in off the glass by John Wooden’s great-grandson Tyler Trapani, and he basked in the attention of the post-game press conference, seemingly enjoying the talk about UCLA’s win more than his own shot.
And what a win it was.
UCLA thoroughly dismantled No. 10 Arizona on Saturday, 71-49, to tie for the Pac-10 lead at 12-4 with two games to play.
In playing their most complete game of the season, the Bruins shook off an eary three-point deficit with a 33-11 run that stretched nearly 20 minutes.
That’s when Reeves Nelson took over.
Nelson had a career-high 27 points and 16 rebounds and played sensational defense on Derrick Williams, after telling Howland he wanted the mano-a-mano matchup after UCLA’s win over Arizona State on Thursday.
Williams had 15 points but only two in the second half as the Wildcats shot just 25 percent in the half, 31.5 percent for the game.
When it wasn’t Nelson doing the dirty work, it was Joshua Smith and Tyler Honeyutt. Smith had 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Honeycutt added 15, including eight early points.

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  • Joe

    What a great atmosphere and occasion at “Old” Pauley. From the way the team played “as a team” to clutch performances by all the starters to the 1971 National Championship Team at halftime, to Trapani making the last basket, to blowing up ranked opponents at home like the old days – amazing!

  • BruinFaithful

    What a GREAT win. This team looks NOTHING like the team that started the season. They are starting to come together at the right time. It’s amazing what this team can do when it plays intelligently and with intensity.

    St. John’s continues to help us with another big win over Nova. BYU beating SDSU again, can’t hurt either.

    Looks like we only moved up to 38 in RPI.

    If we play like we did this week, we will sweep the Washington schools. However, that is a big if.

  • Lifelong Bruin Fan

    Wow, today was truly a memorable day at Pauley! What a way to close out the grand old building! The crowd was electric and the team was a bundle of energy on the floor, ready to play from the opening tip. The team really grew up today! I hope they have become aware of what they are capable of when they play 40 minutes of intense, focused team basketball.

    The trip to Washington will not be easy, but if UCLA can play like they did today they will have a chance to claim not only the league title but also challenge for the Pac-10 tourney title. This is something I could not have imagined at the beginning of the season. Of course I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I think UCLA showed that it *is* capable of competing with the best of them. Big kudos to CBH for guiding the team into a maturing and confident group, and big kudos to the players for continuing to work hard on improving their games. As a fan (with realistic expectations) I am enormously proud to be witnessing the growth of this team.