Despite facing a harrying perimeter defense that flustered the backcourt and caused 10 turnovers, the Bruins went into halftime at Hec Pavilion up 25-24.
UCLA held Washington to 7-of-33 shooting (21.2 percent) and picked up five blocks, as the Huskies had trouble converting in the post. Talented big man Matthew Bryan-Amaning is shooting just 2-for-8 and has two fouls and center Aziz N’Diaye is 1-for-5.
But it’s not just UCLA’s interior defense that has done wonders: Washington’s Isaiah Thomas is 0-for-6 with zero points.
Reeves Nelson is leading the way for the Bruins offensively with 10 points, and Joshua Smith – who entered the game with 16:51 left to a chorus of boos – has four points and nine rebounds.
Of particular worry for the UCLA: Washington’s Venoy Overton and Thomas have just been sensational on the perimeter, twice forcing three-turnover streaks for the Bruins. Both have drawn offensive fouls from Jerime Anderson and Lazeric Jones, who each have two fouls. Smith also has two fouls, but Bryan-Amaning does, too.