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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UCLA prevails in sloppy game over USC, awaits shorthanded UA in second round of Pac-12 tourney

The matchup is set. The Arizona men’s basketball team will face off against the UCLA Bruins today at 3:30 p.m. in Los Angeles at the Pac-12 Conference Tournament.

The Bruins (19-13) defeated the USC Trojans 55-40 in the first round of action at Staples Center. Although they got off to a slow start, the Bruins pushed back after halftime and easily handled the Trojans. USC led early in the game, at one point up on the Bruins 21-13, but a dismal 29 percent shooting night sunk any hopes of a Trojan upset.

Senior guard Lazeric Jones scored 15 points for UCLA, nearing the 19-point average he posted in the Bruins’ last two regular season contests. Forward Travis Wear added 12 points, while his brother David Wear had a team-high 10 rebounds. Overall, the Bruins did not have a strong game shooting, only 34 percent from the field, and hit just 4-of-15 from beyond the arc.

Tyler Lamb had eight points for UCLA, but also turned over the ball five times.

With news of Arizona head coach Sean Miller suspending freshman Josiah Turner indefinitely, most of the ball-handling duties will fall on sophomore Jordin Mayes, who is five weeks removed from a stress reaction in his right foot.

The Wildcats will need good play from center Angelo Chol and forward Jesse Perry, who has played center for most of the season. Miller said UCLA created problems in the past, matchup wise, for the Wildcats, who split the regular season series with the Bruins.

Smith stays sidelined

Center Josh Smith did not play in the first half for the Bruins because of a coaching decision by UCLA head coach Ben Howland. Howland explained in his press conference that Smith sat because he was four minutes late to the team bus that took the Bruins from the J.W. Marriott, located across the street from Staples Center, to the game.

Smith did not have much of an impact on the game and only scored five points. He did, however, manage to pick up three fouls in less than a minute.

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