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Collison struggles, UCLA wins big over USC

February 4, 2009 |  9:54 pm

At this game’s beginning I made clear my opinion that Darren Collison, the UCLA senior point guard who has been the Bruins' best player all season -- and is counting on using this season as a springboard to an NBA career -- would be the evening’s most important player.

Doh! Can I take a mulligan?

As it happened, tonight turned out to be one of Collison’s least effective performances as a starter.

Maybe the single worst.

He ended the game with four points (two of them in garbage time) and a pair of assists. He sat for long stretches (a good thing, perhaps, because he needs some rest).

When he was in the game he was constantly hounded by USC’s Daniel Hackett, who has five inches and many pounds of muscle on the 6’0”, 160 pound Bruins guard. Hackett never let Collison out of his sight -- or, to a large degree, out of his grasp.

In the end, it didn’t matter one iota.

UCLA put in another strong performance, showing they’re a team in the true sense.

I was off base. They didn't need their star guard to play big-time ball in order to be effective. At least not on this night, a night which had only one really rousing moment –- Rick Neuheisel taking the microphone at halftime and bragging about UCLA’s fine football recruiting class.

Final score at Pauley: Bruins 76, Trojans 60.

-- Kurt Streeter