The Bruins took a 32-19 lead into halftime against Arizona State, putting their best defensive performance of the season forward.
Or is it the Sun Devil offense?
ASU is shooting 6-of-30 – 20 percent – and its 19 points are a season-low for a half. UCLA, meanwhile, is 12-of-24 and has outrebounded the Sun Devils, 24-14.
So why only a 13-point lead? UCLA had 11 turnovers in the first nine minutes by my count, though the official score has 10 for the half.
The Bruins went small to start the game, starting with a three-guard lineup for the first time this year.
Zeek Jones leads UCLA with 11 points, Reeves Nelson has eight and five rebounds, and three Bruins have four points. Trent Lockett has seven points and Rihards Kuksiks five for ASU, and three have two points.
A UCLA official has informed us that UCLA sophomore small forward Tyler Honeycutt has flu-like symptoms, but will attempt to play today against Arizona State. Honeycutt has had trouble keeping food down all morning and is moving kind of gently in pre-game.
Ben Howland raced out onto the McKale Center court less than a minute into the second half, wearing a look of pure, unadulterated disgust.
He didn’t walk onto the court, he stomped onto it, equal parts frustrated and angry, and with good reason.
A five-point Arizona half-time lead turned into 10 in the first 40 seconds of the second half, and UCLA was on the ropes.
The Bruins swayed a bit, mustered a couple punches in return, but ultimately could not recover in an 85-74 loss that snaps a four-game winning streak.
“We were down five at the half, and then they score five unanswered to go up, and it was (Derrick Williams) both times,” Howland said. “Maybe I should’ve started Anthony Stover in the second half.” Continue reading →