The return of Jernard Jarreau last game provided the Huskies front-court some much needed reinforcements. Unfortunately, that depth lasted all but one game. About an hour before the Huskies were scheduled to take the floor against to face off against the UCLA Bruins, it was announced that Shawn Kemp Jr. would be sidelined with a concussion.
Even with Kemp in the fold, knocking off the Bruins was a tall order as the they have only dropped one game at Pauley Pavilion all season. Without Kemp, the Huskies third-leading scorer, the task was just that much harder.
The game got off to a pretty horrendous start, and never really got any better. Jarreau picked up two fouls in roughly three minutes, and neither him nor Gilles Dierickx seemed capable of slowing down Bruins big man Tony Parker, who scored 12 first half points. Parker finished the game with 20 points, going 10 -12 from the field. Norman Powell also had his way with the Dawgs, he threw down two highlight-worthy dunks in the first half and finished the game with a team-high 24 points. The Bruins more than doubled the Huskies field goal percentage in the first half, (UCLA shot 64 percent to the Huskies 29 percent), out rebounded the Huskies by 14 and took a very comfortable 46-25 lead into halftime.
It was as ugly as it sounds, and then some. The lone bright spot of the first half was listening to Bill Walton complain about how many timeouts were taken in the first half.
As disastrous as the first half was the for the Huskies, the second half was even worse. The Huskies more or less rolled over on the defensive end, allowing the Bruins to do virtually whatever they wanted. The Bruins finished the game shooting 63 percent from the field. To be fair, the Huskies did trout out five-guard lineups for extended periods of time, creating natural mismatches on defense. However, the effort simply was not there, as the Huskies were beaten to lose balls and failed to contest the majority of the Bruins three point shots.
The Huskies went mercifully into the Los Angeles night, falling 88-66.
Look, I do not want to be too rough on these guys, but this effort was incredibly disappointing. They do deserve credit for bringing effort night in and night out despite their seven game losing streak that spanned six weeks. That is why this performance was so shocking. It seemed as though the team got discouraged by their early deficit, and folded in on themselves for the first time this season.
The Huskies were led by Andrews, who scored 18 points on 5-16 from the field, followed by Nigel Williams-Goss who scored 17 points on 8-18 from the field. He also contributed eight assists.
The Huskies next game will be on Sunday as they take on the Trojans and the two teams battle it out in the cellar of the conference.