Rob Evans once again tinkered with the starting lineup, inserting freshman Serge Angounou in place of Justin Allen. From an effort standpoint, the move made a difference. ASU gave a much better effort than in their game last Saturday against California. Unfortunately, better effort does not always equal better results.
The score was close early, at 9-6, until the Bruins went on a 7-0 run to take the lead from the Devils. With 10:20 left in the first half, Wilfred Fameni scored to tie the game at 15 and it looked like the Devils were going to remain in the game. However, the Sun Devils' shooting woes once again appeared toward the end of the first half, giving the Bruins a nine-point lead going into the intermission.
After the break, things did not look much better as UCLA held its comfortable lead for much of the half. Late in the stanza, Dijon Thompson sank a three point field goal, giving UCLA a sizeable 64-43 lead. Only then did the Devils show some life. Ike Diogu made a field goal and then Jason Braxton took over, scoring ASU's next 11 points and bringing the Sun Devils within four points at 59-55 with 42 second left on the clock.
As with other close games, the young Devils could not find a way to pull it out late. The Bruins hit their free throws and the game was never really in doubt. The loss was ASU's fifth in a row and puts the Devils under the .500 mark on the season (6-7, 0-4).
Ike Diogu was held under his season averages in both points and rebounds, notching 15 and six, respectively. Junior shooting guard Steve Moore led ASU in scoring with 17. Braxton's eleven point outburst at the end of the game provided the majority of his 13 points.
ASU once again shot under 40% for the game, finishing an abysmal 19 of 54 (35.2%)…a major factor in the Sun Devils' shooting woes was their embarrassing 1-13 (7.7%) performance from behind the arc…the Sun Devils were once again out-rebounded 39-29, with 13 of UCLA's rebounds coming on the offensive glass…
Writer's note: special thanks to KPGoDevils for his input into this story.
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