UCLA (19-3, 6-3 Pac 12) saw their ranking dip to No.8/7 after back-to-back losses to arch-rivals Arizona and USC. The Bruins haven’t dropped back-to-back games all season and now they are heading out on the road, where wins are always tough to come by in the Pac 12 Conference.
The Bruins open the current road trip at Beasley Coliseum in Pullman (Wash.), home of Washington State (11-10, 4-5 Pac 12). The Cougar’s home court, holds 11,671 fans, has not been very welcoming to UCLA of late. The Bruins have played some of their worst basketball there during the Steve Alford era.
UCLA is on a three game losing streak while playing at Beasley Coliseum, but losing in Pullman wasn’t always the case. Before the current slide in Eastern Washington, the Bruin won 19 straight games while playing the Cougars on their home court. UCLA’s winning streak spanned started January 13, 1994, and ended on March 6, 2013. The last time UCLA beat Wazzu on their home floor was Feb. 4, 2012.
The Cougars are coached by Ernie Kent, a familiar name to Pac 12 basketball fans. Kent is in his third season on the job and coached Oregon for 13 years prior to taking the Washington State job. Kent led the Ducks to five NCAA Tournament appearances, including reaching the Elite 8 twice.
Washington State has three players who are averaging scoring in double-figures. Leading the way is senior forward, Josh Hawkinson (6-10, 230), who leads the Cougars in two categories and is averaging a double-double. He averages 16.0 points per game (ppg) and 10.0 rebounds per game (rpg). Hawkinson is coming off a 31 point, 10 rebound showing in a 91-83 victory over ASU.
Senior guard Ike Iroegbu (6-2, 195) averages 11.5 ppg, is second in rebounds averaging 4.3 rpg and is leading the Cougars in assists averaging 3.2 assists per game (apg).Iroegbu had 22 points and a team-leading 10 assists against the Sun Devils last time out.
The third Cougar who averages in double figures is freshman point guard Malachi Flynn (6-1, 170), who is chipping in 11.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 3.0 apg.
Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00PM PST and will be televised by the Pac-12 Network with J.B. Long handling play-by-play and Matt Muehlebach will analyze the action.
UCLA’s backup flagship station AM 1150 will broadcast the game with Josh Lewin and Bruin great Tracy Murray in their usual roles.
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channel: Ch. 119/Ch. 381 and SIRIUS App. Channel: Ch. 965 will broadcast the game on satellite radio.