UCLA forward Kenneth Nwuba, remaining, shoots in front of USC forward Evan Mobley in the course of the Bruins’ 66-48 loss Saturday at Galen Heart. (Mark J. Terrill / Affiliated Push)
It was like preparing to climb Mt. Everest and becoming told you cannot get your snowshoes … or your protection harness.
What was currently a daunting obstacle enhanced exponentially in degree of trouble Saturday when UCLA discovered it would have to perform USC without the need of ahead Cody Riley … or forward Jalen Hill.
That still left the Bruins with a frontcourt that includes one major man who had averaged 4.4 minutes for every game in his 5 appearances this time and another who would be creating his higher education debut just after joining the team previous month.
Hey most people, fulfill Kenneth Nwuba and Mac Etienne.
Nwuba acquired the start and experienced his teammates cheering early when he took a demand and swatted a shot. Etienne checked in for the 1st time in his career a couple minutes later and calmly buried a soar hook.
The fantastic vibes would not previous regardless of a extremely encouraging debut for Etienne, the No. 21 Bruins unraveling amid a flurry of clanked photographs during a 66-48 reduction to the Trojans at the Galen Middle.
Etienne’s solid engage in in the initially fifty percent acquired him a begin in the 2nd 50 %. He elevated his activity even even further, getting the best of USC counterpart Evan Mobley on one particular sequence in which he blocked Mobley’s shot just before backing Mobley down on the other stop of the court and drawing a foul.
Getting self-assurance with every single possession, Etienne threw down a vicious 1-handed dunk and buried a jumper. He finished with 8 points on 4-for-five taking pictures to go with 5 rebounds and two blocks in 27 minutes, his one blemish coming on his 4 turnovers.
“You can see that he has a huge sum of likely,” UCLA mentor Mick Cronin stated, noting that Etienne was going to participate in even if the group experienced been at entire power.
It was a profitable overall performance on a evening the relaxation of the Bruins (13-4 overall, 9-2 Pac-12 Convention) couldn’t make a shot although slipping into a very first-place tie with the Trojans (15-3, 9-2). UCLA shot 33.9% although generating a dreadful 3 of 19 in three-stage taking pictures (15.8%).
The absence of their leading two major guys remaining the Bruins in have to have of a new recreation system going versus Mobley, the USC freshman ahead who may be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA draft. UCLA unveiled the considerable use of a 2-3 zone for the very first time this season and it flustered the Trojans early as the teams traded one particular bricked shot for another. Etienne’s bounce hook pulled UCLA in just 14-11, triggering a loud celebration on the Bruins’ bench.
But USC’s pictures ultimately started falling, the Trojans closing the initially half on a 13-4 operate to consider a 30-20 halftime direct even though the scrappy Bruins resembled a small-handed workforce.
Riley was out after spraining his right ankle in practice before in the week, viewing warmups with his foot in a protecting going for walks boot. Hill sat out mainly because of what an athletic division spokesman explained as particular good reasons. The Bruins also continued to skip Chris Smith, the hurt 6-foot-9 guard whose size could have aided disrupt Mobley.
Mobley rarely dominated, ending with nine points on four-for-6 shooting, but the Trojans did not require him to on a night teammate Ethan Anderson scored a occupation-significant 19 factors.
This tale at first appeared in Los Angeles Periods.