The Arizona St. Sun Devils couldn't follow up a good performance against the USC Trojans on Thursday with another one on Saturday against the UCLA Bruins. The Sun Devils hang tough in the first half without Keala King, Kyle Cain and Chris Colvin in the lineup (all suspended by coach Herb Sendek) but fell apart in the second half in their 75-58 loss.
Josh Smith headlined the UCLA attack with a big game. He thoroughly dominated ASU's big men with 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. With about 10 minutes left, Smith caused Ruslan Pateev to foul out and continued to pile on points against ASU's other big men.
Overall, the game was defined by halves. ASU hit shots early and sustained the lead until the final three minutes of the first half. At that point, UCLA broke a 30-30 lead (on a Smith free throw, no less) and never looked back. The Bruins outplayed the Sun Devils in the second half, scoring a total of 42 points to ASU's 28 points to put the game away for good.
With King, Cain and Colvin serving a Sendek-mandated suspension, ASU needed big games from Trent Lockett and Carrick Felix in this one. Unfortunately, the duo couldn't deliver. Jonathan Gilling and Pateev masked the team's early offensive deficiencies with buckets of their own, but a combined 13 points from Lockett and Felix doomed ASU's chances.
The Sun Devils drop to 1-2 in Pac-12 conference play. ASU plays its next game at home against the Oregon Ducks on Thursday, Jan. 12th.