2014 NCAA Tournament Recap: Tulsa Unable To Avoid Mistakes Late In Loss To UCLA

This game eventually turned out exactly the way I expected - unfortunately, it started off as a hard-to-watch contest where both teams played sloppy and ended as a one-sided contest where the sloppier team wound up with the loss.

This game had pretty much everything I expected it to, and even a few things I didn't, but none of them were particularly good. The UCLA Bruins eventually pulled away from a very game Tulsa Golden Hurricanes squad, but it wasn't until their third 8-0 run of the second half that the result of the game was no longer in question.

UCLA certainly did their part to allow Tulsa to hang around; they turned the ball over 10 times, highlighted by Kyle Anderson committing three traveling violations and a palming of the ball among his five turnovers. They looked like a team that was upset to have a home crowd advantage against a team they should beat handily - almost like they were offended to be playing such an "easy" opponent and gave an effort equivalent to that.

De'Andre Wright capitalized on that for Tulsa as he scored 12 of his team high 18 points in the second half, though it looked to be in vain early on. He scored the team's opening basket of the second half to cut the score to 35-32, but then watched the Bruins rattle of a 10-0 run, as that was the Hurricanes' only basket in the first four and a half minutes of the second half. The upside is that he took over the team's offense and scored its first eight points; the downside is that he took over the team's offense, but it took him almost nine minutes to score those points.

After hanging close by forcing a lot of lazy and thoughtless mistakes, the real Tulsa eventually reared its ugly head; the team that kept shooting threes despite their lack of success - they made their first and last attempts, but went only 5-for-17 in the time between. Part of the reason that Wright took over and led his team in scoring was that James Woodard never really found his groove - he made that opening three pointer but only two other shots the rest of the game, and only scored one point in the last 21 minutes.

UCLA's desire to force turnovers and get out in transition eventually won the day, as Tulsa committed a total of 16 turnovers in the game. Those turnovers were evenly split between halves, but the ones in the second half kept coming in pairs, which kept giving the Bruins the momentum and confidence they needed to gradually pull away to a 76-59 win.

The Bruins were led by an impressive 21 points and eight rebounds from Jordan Adams, and Anderson did manage to fill the stat sheet with eight points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks *whew*. Throw in double digit points for Norman Powell and Tony Parker down low as well, and the Bruins took their time caring, but eventually did enough to advance to the next round.

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