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UCLA - Pittsburgh Preview

Pittsburgh Panthers (3) Vs. UCLA Bruins (2)
Thursday, 3/22 @ 9:40
Betting Line From Bookmaker: UCLA -3

The Pittsburgh Panthers went into the locker room at the half of their round-two game against Virginia Commonwealth ahead by 15 points. At the end of regulation, the game was tied 69-all. One OT later and the Panthers had won 84- 79. In round-two, UCLA managed to beat a very tough Indiana defense by a score of 54- 49. It was certainly not an easy win.

The Panthers sent VCU, a very good foul shooting team (82%), to the line too many times (17) and they let them get off too many shots from the floor (71). Pittsburgh also turned the ball over 15 times to 7 for VCU. But superior shooting from the floor (54% to 41%) and especially from 3-point land (50% to 30%) helped the team from Iron City defeat Cinderella.

For the Panthers it was a total team effort with eight different players scoring and five of those in double figures. Senior center Aaron Gray was impressive with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. He also blocked a shot and stole a ball. Freshman forward Sam Young came off the bench and played 25 quality minutes as he put up 15 points. Sophomore guard Levance Fields had 10 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds.

On defense, Young blocked 2 shots, stole 2 balls and grabbed 3 defensive rebounds. He also had 3 offensive rebbies. Senior forward Levon Kendall was impressive on “D,” leading the team with 3 blocks.

For UCLA, it was tough going as the team shot 36% from the field and only 22% from the three-point mark. They hit 75% of their 24 foul shots, while Indiana made only 10 of their 21 for 48%.

Guard Darren Collison, a sophomore, led all players with 15 points. He also posted 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Sophomore forward Luc Ricjard Mbah a Moute was huge around the basket with 12 rebounds and 8 points, while Junior center Lorenzo Mata had 8 each of points and rebounds. Junior guard Arron Afflalo pitched in 3 assists, while grabbing 3 rebounds and connecting for 10 points. There were some small but helpful contributions from the bench.

The defense was led by Moute’s 3 and Collison’s 2 steals. Rebounds, turnovers, blocks and steals were relatively equal between the two teams.

UCLA must shoot better in order to win the next game while Pittsburgh has to play more disciplined and focused basketball.

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