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Jan 13, 2024 5:53 pm

Washington promises complete focus vs. collapsing UCLA

Coming off one of the most lopsided losses in program history, UCLA returns home to Los Angeles on Sunday in search of answers as it gets set to face Washington, which is aiming to hit its stride.

The Bruins (6-10, 1-4 Pac-12) have lost four consecutive games overall after their brutal 90-44 loss at Utah on Thursday. They also have four straight defeats at home following a 66-57 setback on Jan. 6 against Cal.

“We’ve got to make some shots at some point,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said following Thursday’s loss, the program’s worst since a 48-point blowout against Stanford in 1997. “If you want to win games at some point — when teams don’t guard you — you’ve got to make some shots. (Opponents are) not guarding us.”

UCLA limps home plagued with a variety of offensive woes. The Bruins have scored fewer than 60 points in each of their past four games. They head into Sunday’s contest averaging a conference-worst 64.2 points per game on 41 percent shooting from the floor.

Washington (10-6, 2-3) is averaging 81.7 points per game, second in the conference, behind 20.6-point per game scorer Keion Brooks Jr. His 22 points, along with 24 from Sahvir Wheeler on 5-of-5 shooting from 3-point range, paced the Huskies to their second consecutive win, an 82-67 victory over Arizona State on Thursday.

Washington’s win over Arizona State, which was previously undefeated in conference play, continued the Huskies’ rebound from an 0-3 start to Pac-12 action.

The Huskies can climb back to .500 in the league with a win on Sunday, and Washington coach Mike Hopkins made it clear that his team is not looking past the Bruins.

“Mick Cronin is a great basketball coach. They have probably the most storied program in college basketball history,” Hopkins said. “And we’ve never gone down there and beaten them since I’ve been here (beginning in 2017-18). It will be a great test for us.”

–Field Level Media

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