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Open Thread: UCLA at Oregon State

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Pregame: Back-to-back-to-back Pac-10 champions UCLA are in the house tonight, and look to win their eighth straight game over the Beavers. Check out the more elaborate game preview here. Quickly, let's go over some keys to the game:

  1. Control the Tempo: It's the kind of thing that UCLA won't like, but it's what Oregon State needs to do to win. Oregon State needs to be patient and pass a lot to get open shots in their Princeton offense. UCLA will likely try to speed up the game by applying full court or half court pressure, which means Oregon State needs to...
  2. Break the Press: I expect for Ben Howland to try do something to speed up the tempo of the game. UCLA is a statistically "slow" team, but they'll look to push the tempo against the Beavers. If the Bruins can get up and down, they'll be even more likely to win.
  3. Rebound: The Beavers will need to create as many opportunities to score as possible, and one way to do that is by rebounding. UCLA is a good offensive rebounding team but a bad defensive rebounding team... Oregon State needs to box out effectively on defense to prevent UCLA from getting second chance opportunities, and rebound well on offense to get second chance opportunities.
Tipoff: Twenty-two game losing streak against ranked opponents.... Twenty-one straight conference losses.... it's all on the line tonight as the Craig Robinson coaches in his first ever Pac-10 game. UCLA controls the tip, and here we go... see you in the thread.

Halftime: The Bruins are operating on all cylinders, and the OSU zone defense isn't doing much to stop Collison, Shipp, Holiday, Roll, and company... the Bruins are 15 of 31 from the field, and 6 of 15 from behind the arc. Oregon State, on the other hand, has struggled to get an open shot, shooting 7 of 20 from the field and 1 of 8 from behind the arc. UCLA's man to man defense is giving Oregon State's Princeston offense all kinds of troubles, as the Beavers have committed 9 turnovers, and UCLA has 3 steals. Oregon State was playing tough defense at the beginning of the game, but once UCLA found their groove, the game began to grow out of hand. At halftime, it's UCLA 37, Oregon State 16.

Postgame: UCLA wins it's seventh straight game, eighth straight against the Beavers by the score of 69-46. The loss snaps a four game winning streak for the Beavers, and drops them to 5-6 on the season. USC will be in town on Sunday, and tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 on FSN. I'll get my postgame thoughts up here in the next few hours.


--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)