No. 11 UCLA comes to town


Sophomore guard Viont’e Daniels looks for an open teammate in a game against Colorado on Jan. 21. 

The WSU men’s basketball team is looking to slow down the high-powered offensive attack of the No. 11 ranked UCLA Bruins tomorrow.

UCLA (19-3, 6-3) is coming into the contest averaging 92.2 points per game, which makes them the second highest scoring team in the country.

Two freshmen lead the Bruins: guard Lonzo Ball and forward T.J. Leaf. Ball has been effective all season, averaging 15 points per game, six rebounds per game and eight assists per game, while his running mate Leaf is averaging 16 points per game and eight rebounds per game, while shooting at an impressive 62 percent clip from the field.

UCLA has struggled lately, losing its last two games against USC and No. 5 Arizona. Both teams held the Bruins below 46 percent shooting as a team.

UCLA will be coming off a seven-day break since its last game when they come to Pullman tomorrow.

“We mentally needed to get away from basketball a little bit,” UCLA Head Coach Steve Alford said. “Now we can reboot everything we want to do.”

WSU (11-10, 4-5) is coming into this game after beating Arizona State in Tempe on Sunday.

Senior forward Josh Hawkinson is coming off a career high of 31 points against Arizona State on Sunday and is looking to take that momentum to his matchup with Leaf. Senior guard Ike Iroegbu also played well, chipping in with 22 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, making this his first double-double of the year.

The Cougars will also look to slow down the Bruins’ hot shooting from behind the arc. They are shooting 43 percent from behind the three-point line, which puts them at the top of the Pac-12 in that category.

WSU will match up UCLA’s Ball with a freshman guard of their own: Malachi Flynn. Flynn averages 11 points per game and three assists per game, while shooting 44 percent from the three-point line.

“He’s not your average freshman,” Head Coach Ernie Kent said of Flynn. “He gives his teammates great opportunities to put the ball in the bucket.”

WSU will take on UCLA at 6 p.m. tomorrow in Beasley Coliseum. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network.