PULLMAN – It was almost as if a switch had been flicked to off.
And with it, Washington State University’s chance to compete with UCLA on Thursday night went dark.
“We didn’t play with the type of energy we need to,” said a somber coach Ken Bone, who spent about 30 minutes in the locker room with the Cougars following their 71-51 beatdown by the Bruins at Beasley Coliseum before 6,566, many of whom started leaving early.
“There wasn’t a lot of energy in the building, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if there is anybody in the building. We’ve got to create our own energy and play hard. For whatever reason, we just did not bring it tonight.”
In Pauley Pavilion less than a month ago, UCLA (12-13, 7-6 Pac-10) shot 59 percent in an easy 74-62 win, starting a WSU streak that has reached six losses in seven games.
That shooting percentage would have been welcomed in this one. Not only did UCLA shoot 65.9 percent, it hit 23 of its first 31 attempts.
“Even if you have three people on the floor that pride themselves on defense, it does not matter,” said DeAngelo Casto, who was one of two Cougars in double figures with 10 points. “If three people are playing defense … that’s only 60 percent of your people on the court. That’s failing.”
“We let them do what they wanted to do in the first half,” said Marcus Capers, who missed practice all week after a death in the family. “I think they shot 70 percent. That ain’t what WSU is about.”
The Bruins patiently carved up whatever defense the Cougars attempted, either at the rim or from beyond the arc.
They had a half-dozen dunks, including one by Nikola Dragovic 2 minutes in when two nearby WSU defenders didn’t even see him attack the rim. They hit 6 of 12 3-pointers, led by Michael Roll’s 3 of 4, part of his 15-point effort.
Roll and Tyler Honeycutt (14 points) were both 5 of 5 in the first half as UCLA broke open a 26-24 game with a 14-0 run. Only a Casto layup before halftime, intermission and a Nik Koprivica basket interrupted a skein that grew to 22-4.
UCLA 71, Washington St. 51
Percentages: FG .659, FT .538. 3-Point Goals: 6-12, .500 (Honeycutt 2-2, Dragovic 1-4, Lee 0-1, Roll 3-4, Lane 0-1). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 6 (Honeycutt, Dragovic 2, Morgan 3). Turnovers: 15 (Nelson 4, Honeycutt 2, Dragovic, Lee 3, Roll, Anderson, Lane, Morgan 2). Steals: 8 (Honeycutt, Lee, Roll, Anderson 2, Lane 2, Morgan). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .360, FT .800. 3-Point Goals: 3-19, .158 (Koprivica 1-4, Thompson 2-6, Moore 0-2, Thames 0-2, Motum 0-1, Allen 0-1, Harthun 0-1, Lodwick 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 1 (Casto). Turnovers: 14 (Koprivica, Casto 2, Thompson 6, Moore 3, Capers 2). Steals: 9 (Casto 2, Thompson 2, Moore 4, Capers). Technical Fouls: None.
Halftime–UCLA 40, Washington St. 26. A–6,566.