Washington State Cougars Vs. UCLA Bruins 2/4/12 Tyrone’s Free College Basketball Pick Against the Spread
The 12-10, 5-3 UCLA Bruins came so close to getting a win at 15-7, 8-2 Washington. UCLA will try to avoid an away sweep in the Northwest when they tussle with the 12-10, 4-6 Washington State Cougars Saturday afternoon.
The Bruins didn't trail by more than four and led by as many as 10 on Thursday. UCLA fell behind 6-2 early before sophomore forwards Travis and David Wear tied up the game with made field goals. Sophomore center Joshua Smith's layup with 15:36 to go during the first half put the Bruins ahead for the first time all night. UCLA went up by their biggest margin on freshman guard Norman Powell's dunk to date with 7:46 left before halftime. However a 7-0 Huskies run reemerged UW ahead by four points. Back-to-back Travis jumpers squared things up once again although the Bruins headed to the break down one. UCLA's senior guard Lazeric Jones hit a three-pointer right off the bat to begin the second half. The Bruins blew a 10-point lead the final six minutes falling behind by as many as four courtesy of the Huskies sprinting to a 16-2 run.
David made the only jumper during the run as Smith's layup late made it a two-point difference. Unfortunately for UCLA Smith missed a free throw on the play as Powell bricked a game-tying jumper with four seconds to go. The Bruins had four more offensive rebounds and three less turnovers. UCLA however can look no further than defense to see why they lost the game. Washington blistered the nets 52 percent of the time including 40 percent from deep. The Bruins were led by Smith's 24 points off the bench as Jones added 11. David dialed up 10 on 5-of-6 shooting, but twin brother Travis had just eight on 4-of-15 shooting.
WSU held off 6-17, 1-9 Southern California 60-53 in another game Thursday. The Cougs outrebounded the Trojans 31-18 and got to the line 16 more times making 12 more FTs. Washington State was outscored 27-18 from behind the arc which is the only reason the Cougars didn't win by double digits besides WSU throwing the basketball away four more times. The Cougs shot 5.6 percent better from the floor with junior forward Brock Motum the lone member of the home team to score double figures tallying a game-high 26 points.
Washington State led by as many as 14, but weren't able to put the visitors away completely which had to make Ken Bone a little displeased. However the Cougars coach didn't show his displeasure saying he was really pleased they were able to pull out a win. Bone also said "USC came in and did a great job. Every time we got to (a 10 or 11-point lead), they would cut it down to five or six, and that's two possessions."
WSU will take another win anyway they can get it against UCLA who is 2-5 on the road routing two foes and falling by one, two and three points at 16-6, 6-4 Stanford, the Huskies and 14-8, 4-6 Oregon State. 16-6, 7-3 Oregon overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to dump the Bruins who also ran into a 17-6, 7-3 California buzzsaw on Dec. 31 in Berkeley.
The Cougs are now 8-9 at home including impressive wins over the Cardinal and Bears. Washington State rallied from 13 down during the second half to drop Stanford while edging Cal by a bucket. The Cougars need the win desperately to avoid the bottom three in the Pacific-12 Conference standings. Currently seventh in the conference UCLA was the preaseason pick to win the Pac-12. The Bruins swept last year winning 58-54 at Wallis Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum over WSU in overtime. The Cougs have lost four straight to UCLA, but each team did won on the other one's court in 2009. Washington State's lost 18 of their last 20 meetings with the Bruins and haven't won in Pullman in what seems like forever against UCLA. Play the Cougars small. They're due.