The night couldn’t have started worse for No. 23 UCLA, which is lucky to be down just 35-24 to Washington State at halftime.
The Bruins opened the game 1 of 10 from the field while playing some porous defense against the conference’s worst team. WSU used a matchup zone to keep UCLA from getting its second field goal until almost 10 minutes had elapsed. Even without its No. 2 and No. 3 scorers — Mike Ladd (
thumb knee) and DaVonte Lacy (knee) — the Cougars ran out a 25-4 lead with eight minutes to go.
Ben Howland tried out a zone defense, which helped spark an 8-0 run over three minutes. Jordan Adams’ wide-open 3-pointer at the end of the period closed the deficit to just 11 points. The Bruins’ chances to win are still good, but the the start was reminiscent of their loss at Cal. Shabazz Muhammad is just 1-of-8.