Playing with the energy of a water buffalo after a Thanksgiving dinner, the UCLA basketball team did not sleepwalk through the first half. They Bruins were downright in a coma.
UCLA started the half 5-of-16 shooting, finished 7-of-25, including 0-for-8 from 3-point range, and Washington State hit the backdoor cut like a layup line, taking a 32-19 lead into halftime. The Bruins’ 19 points were their second lowest halftime total of the season, better only than the loss at Cal, when they had 18.
After Joshua Smith picked up his second foul early in the half, the UCLA offense looked completely lost, settling for meek 3-point attempts, unwilling to draw contact.
UCLa’s Malcolm Lee, Tyler Honeycutt, Jerime Anderson and Lazeric Jones went a combined 2-of-15 from the field, and most of the time, settled for perimeter passing.
Meanwhile, Washington State, missing its two best players in the suspended Klay Thompson – who addressed the crowd after introductions and apologized – and the injured Reggie Moore, looked like they were playing for their NCAA Tournament lives, which they are.
Backup forward Brock Motum had nine points, including a big 3-pointer, and Faisel Aden, DeAngelo Casto and Abe Lodwick combined for 18 more.