But the increasing dampness of the court in the second half was hardly the worst of UCLA's woes. It was already obvious that the Bruins were in deep trouble when Indiana held the halftime lead though it had shot only 35%. The last 20 minutes were a different story. The Hoosier defense attracts most of the raves, but their offense proved to be just as good. They crowded everyone in close and ran UCLA through a maze of picks and reverses for open shots. The Bruins were caught in a revolving door and never did find the way out.
Buckner began the second half by posting the smaller Spillane low and scoring six quick points. Then May hit an open jumper, Abernethy laid in a basket and Indiana was ahead by 16. The only Los Angeles team that is going to beat the Hoosiers once they have a lead like that in the second half is the Lakers.
The margin mounted inexorably. It was 72-46 with 6:37 to go, and Indiana was still performing as if it was not going to take any prisoners. Knight was at the scorer's table arguing vehemently that he had three, not two, time-outs left. Already he had kicked over a chair and chewed out an official over a questionable goaltending call that would have given his club a 22-point lead with 8:41 to play. He did not send in his second string until less than a minute remained—another example of how much Indiana wanted a big victory.
This was UCLA's first opening game defeat since 1964. That year the Bruins had only two starters returning from a national championship club, but they went on to compile a 28-2 record and win another NCAA title. This year's team will not be as bad as it looked last week. "They'll be back," said Buckner. And a funereal Bartow predicted better things to come "within a couple of weeks."
The Bruins probably will have to look to their freshmen before those better things begin happening. Along with the young guards, Bartow has 6'10" David Greenwood, who plays forward or center. Greenwood made a brief appearance in the first half against Indiana and seemed lost, although he did chip in with some good play near the end of the game. "It appeared as if we didn't know what we were doing tonight," said Greenwood. "Next time it'll be a different story. We just need some time." And maybe a different team to play against. UCLA, for the first game in a long, long while, was simply overmatched.