PULLMAN, Wash. — Isaac Bonton scored 26 points and Washington State avenged an ugly 30-point blowout from four weeks earlier with an 81-73 win over UCLA on Thursday night.
Bonton had four of the Cougars’ 13 3-pointers on 22 attempts (59%), which turned the tables on the Bruins.
UCLA, which finished 5 of 20 behind the arc, were 9 of 16 from deep, shot 54% overall and made 16 of 18 free throws in a 91-61 victory on Jan. 14.
When the Cougars opened the second half with a 17-5 run for a 59-37 lead with 12:25 to play, it had historians scrambling for the last time WSU beat UCLA by 20. It happened once in 1937, 48-25, but it was only WSU’s 19th win in 129 games in the series.
But the Bruins slapped on the press and used an 8-0 run to steady the ship as the Cougars got in foul trouble. Then, after T.J. Bamba’s 3-pointer at the 3:54 mark put WSU up 76-60, the UCLA pressure picked up.
An 11-2 run cut the deficit to seven with 1:18 to play. Bonton made 3 of 4 free throws to secure the win.
Aljaz Kunc scored 13 points off the bench for Washington State (12-8, 5-8 Pac-12 Conference) and DJ Rodman added 11.
Johnny Juzang scored 25 points, 17 in the second half to fuel the rally for UCLA (13-5, 9-3), which was coming off an 18-point loss to USC. Tyger Campbell added 17 points.
The Cougars hit 7 of 12 3-pointers — but only 5 of 14 inside the arc — to open a 42-32 lead at the half. The Bruins went 3 of 11 from distance and shot 39% overall.
They took the lead for good when Kunc converted a three-point play to break a tie and followed with a 3-pointer 29 seconds later, making it 20-14.
No. 20 USC is at Washington State on Saturday when UCLA heads to Washington.
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