The television announce team talked about previous years fans grumbling about the team, a coach on the hot seat and an incoming player changed the course of the program. “What a difference a player makes,” said FS1 analyst (and former UCLA coach) Steve Lavin.
Husky fans hoped that this described Markelle Fultz and what he could and would do for UW this year. But this was tonight’s narrative for UCLA, Steve Alford and Lonzo Ball. As expected the No. 3 in the nation, UCLA Bruins throttled the Washington Huskies, 98-66.
Fultz sat on the bench with a sore knee and it’s not clear if he’ll be in a Husky uniform again. Still, the best player in America was on the floor tonight. Lonzo Ball had it all going. He messed around but did not get a triple double. Ball finished with 19 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds. Despite the blowout, he did play until the 2:56 mark in the second half.
And now we know why Lonzo’s dad is puffing out his chest about his son.
Maybe the only thing about Ball’s game is the form on his shot. Which makes me wonder, who has the better shot Ball or Chantel Osahor.
The Huskies started the game with an 11-0 deficit and could not dig itself out from there. It didn’t help that UW suffered from excessive turnovers (5 straight on 5 possession in the 1st half) to which the Bruins capitalized on with 20 points in just the first half. Conversely, the Huskies had just 1 point off of just 3 UCLA turnovers. The Huskies ended with 20 turnovers to the Bruins 8.
It just looked like the Bruins were just that much quicker and talented the Huskies. UCLA toyed with UW and it didn’t look like the Bruins were even playing hard.
There were some bright signs. Matisse Thybulle had a nice first half with 11 points. Sam Timmins had 10 rebounds in the first half and Noah Dickerson added another 8 rebounds as UW actually outrebounded the Bruins 24-20. But, Thybulle scored just 4 more points to end with 15 and Timmins collected just 2 more boards in the second half.
Dickerson had a good game. He scored 23 points on 10-15 shooting from the field and grabbed 15 rebounds.
The Bruins put the foot on the throat in the second half opening a huge gash of a lead and threatened to win more than their 41-point demolition in Seattle.
Steve Alford seemingly was unchecked all game from the 3-point line. He hit 8 threes and was the game high scorer with 29.
The only bad news for the Bruins was that UCLA Freshman T.J. Leaf left early in the first half with a sprained ankle.
It was a tough night for the Huskies as they dropped their 11th in a row and fall to 9-20. The 20 losses is 2nd most-ever in program history. They fall to 2-15 in the conference, the most ever.
The Huskies stay in LA and play at the Galen Center against USC on Saturday.