The UCLA Bruins took advantage of a long second-half Washington State scoring drought to seize control of the game and build an insurmountable late lead. The Cougars' Patrick Simon hit a baseline jumper to put WSU up 51-50 with 9:09 remaining. They wouldn't score again until Abe Lodwick hit a three with 3:32 to play to cut a UCLA lead to 58-54.
Brock Motum played 40 minutes and led all scorers with 25 points. However, Motum didn't score in the last 13:51 as the Bruins used a zone defense to deny him the ball. The strategy worked perfectly, as nobody else on WSU could step up and score in Motum's place. Overall, only five Cougars made a basket in the game.
Josh Smith played 22 minutes before fouling out and the Cougs had no answer for him on the defensive end. Smith 19 points on 8-9 shooting. He made three consecutive baskets as UCLA built the lead to 7 with just under five minutes to play.
There were definitely some questionable calls towards the end of the game, but WSU still had its chances to win. Marcus Capers missed two bunnies during the scoring drought. DaVonte Lacy, Dexter Kernich-Drew, and Mike Ladd all had open looks from three that didn't fall. Lodwick had an open jumper from the corner that rimmed out with just over a minute left. That shot would have brought the Cougs within one.
WSU led by five at halftime despite 10 turnovers in 35 possessions. They finished with 15 turnovers 65 possessions, giving it away 23% of the time.
In the tradition of this long Bruin winning streak in Pullman, WSU once again let a winnable game slip away. WSU hits the road for their next game, taking on Oregon State next Thursday at 7 pm Pacific time.