UCLA (23-8, 12-6) just gave Washington State (10-20, 3-15) their third conference win of the season on the last game of Pac-12 play. In a dismal Bruin effort, UCLA lost 73-55 up in the Palouse. Whether or not this game counted (which it really didn’t considering UCLA already has their #2 seed in the Pac-12 tournament), it was a horrendous sight to see one the top teams in the conference to lose to one of the worst.
The game started off promising for UCLA as they jumped out of the starting gate like a ravenous Bruin on the hunt. UCLA started the game with a 9-0 run, but Cougar patience and sloppy Bruin basketball helped Washington State fight back.
Neither team could knock down any shots for a good stretch of the first half, but Washington State righted that ship about ten minutes in. What appeared to be WSU throwing anything and everything they could at the rim from behind the arc, resulted in the Cougars going 7 for 16 (43.8%) in the first half alone.
From off the bench, WSU’s Que Johnson was lighting in up from three (4-of-7 shooting) and ended with 14 points. Ike Iroegbu and Dexter Kernich-Drew also helped from the bench with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The second half started the same way the first ended for UCLA… with absolutely no effort. Already ahead, Washington State had went on a run that kept them in double-digits to the end of the game.
Did we mention there was no Bruin effort? Well, there was no effort by the Bruins at all. They shot 33.3% from the field on 18-of-54 shooting. That is right, they missed 36 shots and only made 18.
The Bruins big three, Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Norman Powell, contributed very little to this game. Respectively, they had 19, 7 and 7 points.
Although Anderson had the team high in scoring to go along with 11 rebounds, the most telling stat was his four assists. Once again, he was the only Bruin to do anything for his team, but was once again unable to get his guys involved and that hurt UCLA. That will really hurt UCLA if the same happens next week in Las Vegas.
Talk about a throw away game, huh? Well, let us look at what these means in the grand scheme of things.
-This was a horrible game to lose considering they are going into post-season play, which will have the Bruins playing away from home for the remainder of their games. UCLA has not won two games in a row away from Los Angeles all year.
-This gives the Bruins very little momentum going into the conference tournament.
-They just lost to the #11 team in the Pac-12, giving WSU only their 3rd win in conference and 10th win overall.
-This game did not mean anything in the long run as the Bruins had already clinched the #2 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament.
-The lack of effort by UCLA saves them energy for next week’s conference tournament.
-This win for WSU means they lock up the #11 spot and force USC into last place and into the #12 seed.
Now the question is, can the Bruins do something, anything, to put forth an effort worthy of taking them deep into the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments? Here’s hoping.