UCLA gets a tough tummy check opposite Arizona

Sure, it was a wakeup call, solely a phone reached over and punched them in a gut.


Yeah, it was a training moment, solely it finished with them twisted adult underneath a blackboard and spitting out chalk.

There are lots of ways to demeanour during third-ranked UCLA’s deflating 96-85 detriment to No. 14 Arizona during Pauley Pavilion on Saturday, though maybe a best approach would be to indeed demeanour during Pauley Pavilion.

When a diversion began, a building was filled and rocking with an appetite frequency felt here in new years. The eight-clap was a roar. The sections prominent with white-shirted students were a sight. A inhabitant anthem featuring 4 trumpeters from a 4 corners of a locus was so strange and touching, it was indeed interrupted with cheers.

Oregon, though no more. The Bruins seemed unfailing to acquire a No. 1 seed and a geographically auspicious NCAA contest draw, though no more.

The Bruins seemed a good gamble for a mark in a Final Four, though this is a kind of bruising plea they will have to win in Mar to get there, and Saturday they couldn’t.

Shorts snapped, courtesy earned.

The Bruins schooled that scoring a zillion points isn’t going to win a championship if they can’t play intelligent and tough defense. The Wildcats done half their shots, outscored UCLA by 6 points on second-chance baskets, and fundamentally answered each stately Bruins measure with their possess dirty basket.

“We’ve got to guard,’’ Lorenzo Ball said, jolt his head.

UCLA has small to applaud (except Kareem) during 96-85 detriment to Arizona

UCLA has small to applaud (except Kareem) during 96-85 detriment to Arizona

The defensive deficiencies dark for most of a deteriorate by UCLA’s outer-space offense were entirely unmasked Saturday, like an unsightly scar.

They were hideous. They were everywhere. They looked like they competence be permanent.

The consistent breakdowns incited Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Day into a reverence to…

The defensive deficiencies dark for most of a deteriorate by UCLA’s outer-space offense were entirely unmasked Saturday, like an unsightly scar.

They were hideous. They were everywhere. They looked like they competence be permanent.

The consistent breakdowns incited Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Day into a reverence to…

(Ben Bolch)

The Bruins also schooled that using adult and down a justice isn’t so easy when we don’t get rebounds. The Wildcats, starting dual seven-footers, outrebounded a Bruins by 9 and fundamentally outmuscled and outhustled them during each sleazy corner.

“You never wish to remove a diversion like this,’’ Bryce Alford pronounced quietly.

And generally not how they mislaid it, by creation several shrill and demoniac runs that finished when they couldn’t guard, couldn’t retard out, or simply forgot to pass.

They sealed a opening to a integrate of points mid by a second half, though afterwards Gyorgy Goloman ran down and threw adult a discerning three-point try that clanked and a Wildcats responded with 5 discerning points to lift divided again. It was Goloman’s second three-point try of a season, and was demonstrative of how a staggered Bruins never found their flow.

With 2 mins 34 seconds remaining, a Bruins trailed by usually 6 points when Ball blocked a shot by Allonzo Trier. But Kadeem Allen grabbed a round and gathering right past Alford for a layup.

Then, with 1:09 remaining, a Bruins trailed by usually 6 points again when Arizona’s Parker Jackson-Cartwright missed a layup. But a Wildcats’ Lauri Markkanen flew past TJ Leaf for a followup asperse and an contingent three-point play that clinched it.

The Bruins’ final pant was a three-point try by Alford that strike zero though nothing, reasonably finale what could have been a slam-dunk of an afternoon with an airball.

“It’s a still locker room right now,’’ Steve Alford said. “It’s a locker room that’s dissapoint and needs to be.’’

On a other side, Arizona left a justice looking giddy, and since not? It was a Wildcats who looked like a Final Four team, their usually waste to Butler and Gonzaga, their starting lineup featuring dual seven-footers and their group benefiting from Saturday’s lapse of Trier, who sat out a initial 19 games since of a cessation for performance-enhancing drugs.

Every time Trier overwhelmed a round Saturday, he listened shrill chants of “Ster-oids, ster-oids.’’ But he shrugged and scored a dozen points with a ease that his group found infectious.

“We usually play like we do, we do what we do,’’ pronounced Arizona star beginner ensure Kobi Simmons, who was named after Kobe Bryant, that will make a lot of Lakers fans unexpected feel really old.

The Bruins, meanwhile, need to be improved in a partial of a diversion that isn’t so adorned and doesn’t have all a cold statistics, since it’s a partial that will eventually conclude them in dual months.

 “They’ve got to learn, we’ve been articulate a whole time, we consider we’re a really good basketball team, though if we wish to turn great, we’ve got to play as unselfishly defensively together as we do on a descent end,’’ Alford said.

The Bruins still have to play USC twice, and a home diversion opposite Oregon and a revisit to Arizona, before a Pac-12 Conference contest in early March. There’s copiousness of time to repair things, though usually if a Bruins start profitable as most courtesy to courage as glitz.

Steve Alford pronounced that following he told them, “You could be special, by a time we get to Mar we could be extremely special, though your invulnerability has got to grow.’’

Either that or, we know, buy looser shorts.

bill.plaschke@latimes.com

Get some-more of Bill Plaschke’s work and follow him on Twitter @BillPlaschke


Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail stories@tutuz.com