On a night that started with some lackadaisical effort, Jordan Adams was the only Bruin that came out to play, from start to finish, as the UCLA Bruins (23-7, 12-5) beat the Washington Huskies (16-14, 8-9), 91-82.
UCLA has been no stranger to stalling on the road, which is exactly what happened the first three quarters of this game at Washington’s Hec Pavilion in Seattle. Adams career-high 31 points is the only thing that kept the Bruins in the game through much of the contest. If the Bruins needed some offense, they needed to look no further than their leading scorer.
Between Washington and UCLA, the many ties and lead changes was a result of a horrible show of basketball for both teams. The Huskies, who are on their last leg, so to speak, needed some sort of momentum to put them in good position for the Pac-12 Tournament, which starts next week. For the Bruins, it was a chance to gain momentum of their own going into the post-season. As it looks, the Bruins most likely have locked up the number two seed in the tournament.
So at halftime, the score was at 45-41 in favor of Washington.
UCLA has become familiar with comebacks. One of their more promising traits is that they can make halftime adjustments to put themselves, more often than not, in better position against the opposition in the second half. The same was true in this game.
UCLA started the second half by scoring six quick points to retake the lead and was in a bit of a sparring match with the Huskies for a good 10 minutes.
After that it was all UCLA.
Kyle Anderson helped the Bruins to victory with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists of his own. A little late, but Zach LaVine showed up and managed to contribute 14 points in a strong second half. Bryce Alford scored double-digits for the first time on the road with 12 points. A lot of folks were concerned about Tony Parker fouling out, but he also had 10 points of his own.
So the Bruins are pulling together when needed and to do it on the road is a testament to how they are playing as a group lately. Sure the last two victories have been comebacks with ugly starts, but UCLA is proving they can finish what they start and get the win when needed.
Now to get the dreaded back-end road trip victory against Washington State. Something UCLA has not been able to do all season.