For about 13 minutes, everything was golden for UCLA against Washington State.
The Bruins had good ball movement, shots were falling, and they held Cougars hot scorer Klay Thompson relatively in check.
Then the game stopped on a dime, pivoted, and went directly in Washington State’s direction.
The Cougars lead by eight at the half as Thompson caught fire late, finishing the half with 14 points, while teammate Faizel Aden has nine. Malcolm Lee leads UCLA with 13 points, Reeves Nelson has eight, but no other Bruin has more than two.
UCLA could only maintain a steady lead early in the first half, keeping the Cougars at arms length, unable to clamp down defensivley on the talented Washington State scorers.
The game turned with just less than seven minutes left in the first half and the Bruins leading 22-20. Thompson, who leads the conference in scoring at 22.3 points per game, hit a out-from-nowhere running 3-pointer to give the Cougars’ their first lead of the game, spurring a 15-2 run.
Of bigger concern for the Bruins is Joshua Smith’s early trouble, as he picked up three in the first half, including two on offense.