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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Cougs headed to Bruins’ den

Have just 2 wins in 56 tries on UCLA’s court

LOS ANGELES – The final road game for Washington State this season comes against an opponent the Cougars typically go decades at a time without beating away from home. And, having beaten UCLA in Los Angeles in 2009 when Taylor Rochestie scored 33 points, WSU isn’t due for a win in Pauley Pavilion until at least the next generation of Bushes and Clintons are vying for the White House.

The Bruins lead the all-time series with WSU 102-16 and are 54-2 at home against the Cougars. But WSU (12-15, 6-9 Pac-12) has won the last two matchups between the schools – both in Pullman – and has been uncommonly good on the road, winning three Pac-12 road games for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

For WSU to beat UCLA (17-12, 9-7) they have to limit their opponent’s ability to create extra chances through offensive rebounds and steals.

Another great game from Dexter Kernich-Drew wouldn’t hurt, either. The Australian has led the Cougars in scoring in four of WSU’s last five games, and made 61 percent of his 33 3-point attempts in that span.

UCLA leads the conference with 38.9 rebounds per game and 34.4 percent of those rebounds come on the offensive glass– best in the Pac-12.

Much of that is due to Kevon Looney, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound freshman forward that collects 3.6 offensive rebounds per game, more than any other Pac-12 player. Conversely, WSU’s Josh Hawkinson’s 8.8 defensive rebounds also lead the conference.

The Cougars were able to beat USC on Wednesday despite committing 16 turnovers. UCLA averages 6.66 steals per game.