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UCLA-Mississippi State: Bruins Embarrassed In Wooden Classic, 72-54

WESTWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 06:  Reeves Nelson #11 of the UCLA Bruins wears protective glasse after getting a black eye in the game with the Kansas Jayhawks on December 6, 2009 at Pauley Pavillion in Westwood, California.  Kansas won 73-61.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Derek HartCorrespondent IDecember 14, 2009

The humiliation continues for the UCLA Bruins basketball program.

Not even legendary coach John Wooden, who was in attendance, could provide the inspiration needed as his former team was degraded by the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Anaheim's Honda Center, 72-54, before 13,043 people.

The John R. Wooden Classic proved to be the same old story for coach Ben Howland's crew, as the Bulldogs took a 21 point lead at halftime and never looked back.

Mississippi State forward Jarvis Varnado, who had seven blocked shots in the game and leads the nation in that category, as well as guard Ravern Johnson, who sank 5 out of 8 three-pointers on the way to a game-high 29 points, did most of the damage for the Bulldogs (7-2).

Meanwhile, UCLA continued to show that they cannot shoot, as they made only 34.9% of their shots from the floor and 46% of their free throws.

Symbolizing the Bruin ineptitude was Nikola Dragovic, who in 29 minutes failed to score a single point as he missed every one of his nine shots and collected only one rebound. 

It was quite the Charlie Brown-like performance in every aspect.

At least Michael Roll and Malcolm Lee stepped up, scoring 17 and 16 points respectively, with Lee adding a trio of three-pointers. 

The best image of UCLA's futility however, was early in the first half when forward Reeves Nelson airballed a free throw attempt by a foot.

If that doesn't sum up Bruin hoops this season to date, nothing does; at this rate UCLA will be fortunate to win ten games.

This is shaping up to be one of the worst teams in the Bruins' storied history, as their 2-6 start is the worst in over 60 years.

The only question left is, can UCLA manage to salvage even a decent season?

At this point, I honestly don't know.

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