Without Drew Crawford – and with No. 19 UCLA making practically every shot it attempted – Northwestern managed to show resolve in the losing effort. Carried by Jershon Cobb's 22 points, the Wildcats lost 95-79.
UCLA shot 76 percent in the first half and 64 percent overall. Kyle Anderson had 16 points, eight assists and eight rebounds for the Bruins, who exposed the Wildcats' sloppy defense.
The Bruins finally pulled away with just less than 10 minutes remaining in the second half, with a Zach LaVine layup stretching the lead to 19. LaVine had 18, and was one of four UCLA players who scored in double figures.
UCLA opened the game on a 14-1 run, but NU remained in contention due to surprise contributors. Kale Abrahamson had another productive outing — scoring a career-high 19 points. Alex Olah appeared comfortable in the interior, while Nate Taphorn and Tre Demps also gave the undermanned team solid minutes.
It was Cobb, though, who best worked his dynamic midrange game. He shot an efficient 7-of-12 from the field, making three triples and five free throws. That wasn't enough for the Wildcats to overcome the opponent's dominant shooting effort and the loss of their best player.