FROM LOS ANGELES — Welcome to the new Pauley Pavilion, same as the old Pauley Pavilion. At least it was for the Cougars on Saturday night, when they lost 76-62 to UCLA, their 54th loss to the Bruins in Los Angeles in 56 ties. Read on for our recap.
PLAYER OF THE GAME — Shabazz Muhammad scored 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, and he set the tone early for the Bruins. Kyle Anderson also seemed to make just about everything he put up (6-for-7 from the field) and scored 12 points to go along with seven assists. The Bruins were balanced. Royce Woolridge had another nice game for the Cougars, scoring 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting and doing a nice job again of negotiating his way toward the basket. He also made all four of his 2-point attempts. But in the end, the nod goes to Muhammad, because his team won easily and he was a big part of their first-half onslaught.
PLAY OF THE GAME — There wasn't any one turning point, but Muhammad's breakaway, one-handed slam served as a sufficient reminder of the kind of talent and athleticism separating these teams.
STAT OF THE GAME — There are a bunch that jump off the page. Let's start with UCLA's 62 percent effort from the field, and its 66.7 percent mark in the second half. Then there are WSU's 19 turnovers. And the 10:17 the Cougars went in the first half without a field goal. And the two 2-point field goals the Cougars made before halftime. And, in positive news for the Cougars, they finished with 15 offensive rebounds off 32 missed field goals, which is an impressive 47 percent. But rebounding wasn't an issue in this game with UCLA making as many shots as it did (and with WSU missing as many shots as it did).
QUOTABLE — “It started because we didn’t get stops. If we get stops in a row that’s going to translate into offense and we can be a little more fluid because we can get out and run in transition. But when we’ve got to rebound the ball out of the net, take it out and then get into our set, it just takes so much longer and it kills your momentum. When we can build on stops I think we can build on offense, and that just leads to it all. It seemed like every time, the first like 10 plays, we’re taking it out of the net, then getting into our set, and it’s hard because their defense is set and they’re ready rather than pushing it down their throats on the fast break and transition and stuff like that.” — WSU senior forward Brock Motum
UP NEXT — Back home to Beasley Coliseum, where the Cougars host one of the two Pac-12 teams they've beaten on Wednesday — Oregon State at 7 p.m. That game will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.