UCLA: Theo Robertson

Cal's senior class is UCLA's main road block

March, 12, 2010
3/12/10
6:13
PM PT
Guards Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher combined for 43 points in California's rout of Oregon to set up a game with UCLA in the semifinal round of the Pac-10 Conference tournament tonight at the Staples Center.

For the Bruins to have a chance at winning, they will have to shut down one of the two. UCLA was able to do that in early January, limiting Randle to only 11 points on five-for-16 shooting at Haas Pavilion. The Bruins eked out a victory in overtime on a jumper from Michael Roll (click here for a short highlight clip).

A month later at Pauley Pavilion, UCLA had Cal up against the ropes, leading by as many as 14. But the Golden Bears rallied back for a dominating 14-point win behind 20 points from both Christopher and Theo Robertson.

After UCLA's victory over Arizona on Thursday afternoon, coach Ben Howland spoke about Cal's senior group and Roll talked about the desire to keep playing:

Revisiting California

February, 8, 2010
2/08/10
10:26
PM PT
Here are a few notes from UCLA's 72-58 loss to California on Saturday afternoon:

-- After holding a 14-point lead 10 minutes in, it sure looked like UCLA would extend its winning streak over Cal to seven games. But the Bruins missed their final six shots of the first half -- a dry spell that accounted for just four points in the last eight minutes. Cal, meanwhile, scored 22.

-- Freshman Reeves Nelson suffered a concussion early in the game, but stayed in by lying to team trainers. He only played 20 minutes and scored six points on 2-of-5 shooting. It was his lowest scoring output since Dec. 12 at the John R. Wooden Classic, when Mississippi State All-America candidate Jarvis Varnado limited him to just five points.

-- Cal's Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson became the first pair of teammates to score at least 20 points against UCLA in the same game this season. Christopher and Robertson scored 20 each on identical 8-for-13 from the field. Christopher, a native of nearby Compton, scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half.

"When they put the ball on the floor, they really hurt us with their dribble penetration," Coach Ben Howland said.
UCLA's stay atop the Pacific 10 Conference turned out to be temporary.

UCLA's promising 14-point lead midway through the first half was short-lived too, as California stormed back and rolled to a 72-58 win at Pauley Pavilion.

That's a 28-point switch, for those of you scoring at home.

"To have it turn all the way around on us the way it did... was a combination of things," a frustrated Ben Howland said.

Really, the turnaround trickled down to one thing: playing too fast. The Bruins committed 16 turnovers less than two days after committing just five.

"It was disappointing that we fell back into that mode," the coach said.

UCLA, which could have stayed in first place with a victory, was careless offensively -- a bad habit that supposedly had been corrected in recent weeks. Guard Macolm Lee was visibly flustered by Jorge Gutierrez's suffocating defense.

"We did not do a good job of handling their defense," Howland added.

And the Bruins struggled to handle Cal's offense. Patrick Christopher and Theo Robertson each scored 20 points, while Jerome Randle contributed 14. Cal made 10 of its 24 three-pointers and shot a blistering 55 percent for the game.

UCLA? A meager 4-for-13 from beyond the arc. Sharpshooter Michael Roll made all four of those on his way to a game-high 22 points.

"We wanted to get the sweep of Cal," said Roll, who was the hero in UCLA's one-point overtime victory over Cal in early January. "We knew that they were going to fight. They just out-manned us."

Roll had little help. Senior Nikola Dragovic continued his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act, missing seven of his eight shot attempts (all four from three-point range). Five of his seven points came from the free-throw line.

"He's a shooter," Roll said. "I can't say why he missed shots. I don't know."

Halftime: Cal 37, UCLA 30

February, 6, 2010
2/06/10
2:06
PM PT
Talk about a turn of events.

UCLA made 11 of its first 16 shots for a 14-point lead over California, but now trails 37-30 after failing to convert a field goal in the final 6:58 of the half.

Cal capitalized by closing with an 18-2 run.

Patrick Christopher made a long-range three-pointer to pull the Golden Bears to within one. Theo Robertson followed with one of his own to give Cal a 32-30 lead, before Jerome Randle made an even deeper three to silence the Pauley Pavilion crowd.

Robertson and UCLA's Michael Roll lead the way with 12 points each. No other Bruin has more than four.

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