Josh Shipp told his roommate, Jordan Farmar, Sunday morning that his sprained right ankle hurt a lot. Shipp went through some warmups and told his coach, Ben Howland, the ankle hurt a lot. Shipp limped to the bench before the opening tip and thought, “Wow, my ankle hurts a lot.”
Then Shipp, UCLA’s starting forward, went onto the floor for the opening tip against Notre Dame and didn’t think much about the ankle again.
After being considered doubtful for the game because of the ankle he sprained Thursday against USC, Shipp played 32 minutes, scored six points and had six rebounds in UCLA’s 75-65 victory over Notre Dame. Howland called it “a very gutty performance.”
Senior Dijon Thompson said Shipp, a freshman, “played like a warrior.” “He was in excruciating pain,” Thompson said. “You could tell by looking at his face, but he came out and really contributed.”
Howland pointed proudly to a cross-court pass that Shipp whipped to Thompson that resulted in a three-point basket and a 56-37 UCLA lead as proof of Shipp’s value. “He’s so smart with the ball,” Howland said.
Shipp, who wore a protective boot before and after the game, said he couldn’t cut well or get much lift on his jump shot and was surprised he played 32 minutes.
Farmar wasn’t. “I told you he’d play,” Farmar said.
UCLA’s 14 three-point field goals were a season high and the most since Jan. 19, 2002, when the Bruins made a school-record 17 against Arizona in a loss. ... With seven assists Sunday, Notre Dame guard Chris Thomas became only the third player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points and have 800 assists, joining Syracuse guard Sherman Douglas and Oregon State’s Gary Payton. Besides the 800 assists, Thomas has 2,135 points.
UP NEXT FOR UCLA
Thursday vs. Oregon State, 7:30 p.m., FSNW2, KLAC (690), Pauley Pavilion -- The young Bruins were given a rough introduction to Pacific 10 Conference play on New Year’s Eve when the Beavers beat them, 85-80, at Gill Coliseum. Oregon State hasn’t won on the road in the conference but has lost only to Arizona at home.