Cougs can’t quite seal the deal

Associated PressWashington State guard Isaac Bonton (10) drives past UCLA forward Cody Riley (2) during the second half of Thursday’s game in Los Angeles. Bonton scored 23 points for the Cougars, but it wasn’t enough as they fell to the Bruins in overtime, 86-83.

LOS ANGELES — Washington State, seeking its first win at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in 11 years, was in sniffing range of the feat.

The Cougs and Bruins played right with each other for 40 minutes, but the former team looked depleted in the five extra minutes, and lost to UCLA in overtime.

“I thought we competed really hard, gave ourselves chances, just kinda ran out of juice there,” said WSU coach Kyle Smith on WSU’s radio network.

The Bruins (14-11, 7-5), who lost to WSU (14-11, 5-7) in overtime in Pullman on Jan. 4, were led by Cody Riley, who scored 11 of his 19 points in the extra period, and added a couple of clutch rebounds and a block. He went 9-for-10. Guard Chris Smith started hot, and finished with 23 points.

“We couldn’t cover Riley, keep him off the glass,” Smith said. “That was the difference.”

With star forward CJ Elleby being limited to 10 points on 4-for-18 shooting by a sound UCLA defense, the Cougars were boosted by Isaac Bonton and Jeff Pollard.

Bonton tied the game-high with 23 points (on 9-of-22) and five assists, and Pollard contributed 20 points and six boards — the big man went 4-for-5 from deep. Tony Miller, getting his first bout of extended playing time since returning from injury last week, provided 10 points. Noah Williams had nine points on 9-for-10 from the foul line, most of those coming in crunch time. Jervae Robinson had six points, six rebounds and five assists.

Wazzu led by as many as 12 points — midway through the second half. A cold streak of about four minutes bit the Cougs, allowing the Bruins to climb back in with an 18-4 run and force a tit-for-tat last few minutes. WSU had a winning look at regulation’s buzzer, but Bonton’s long 3 attempt fell short.

“Tie game, we’ll take our chances,” Smith said of Bonton’s shot.

WSU shot 45 percent and held the lead for more than 25 minutes, but the Bruins used sporadic scoring spurts and won 16-8 on the offensive glass to keep it close when it looked like the Cougars might pull away.

The Cougs went up by double figures three times in what was undoubtedly their best road showing in league play. Still, WSU dropped to 0-5 in Pac-12 road games.

“We had some good efforts, just not quite enough,” Smith said.

WASHINGTON ST. (14-11, 5-7)

Elleby 4-18 0-0 10, Pollard 7-12 2-2 20, Bonton 9-22 3-3 23, Robinson 2-3 0-0 6, Williams 0-1 9-10 9, Miller 5-6 0-0 10, Cannon 0-0 0-0 0, Rodman 0-1 0-0 0, Markovetskyy 1-1 0-2 2, Rapp 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 29-65 14-17 83.

UCLA (14-11, 7-5)

Hill 2-7 0-0 4, Campbell 5-12 3-10 14, Singleton 2-8 0-0 6, Smith 8-20 6-6 23, Jaquez 4-8 2-2 13, Bernard 3-6 1-1 7, Riley 9-10 1-3 19, Ali 0-1 0-0 0, Kyman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-72 13-22 86.

Halftime — Washington St., 34-30. End of regulation — 69-69. 3-point goals — Washington St. 11-26 (Pollard 4-5, Robinson 2-3, Bonton 2-6, Elleby 2-10, Rapp 1-1, Rodman 0-1), UCLA 7-24 (Jaquez 3-6, Singleton 2-7, Campbell 1-3, Smith 1-7, Ali 0-1). Fouled out — Williams. Rebounds — Washington St. 30 (Elleby 7), UCLA 41 (Smith 13). Assists — Washington St. 17 (Bonton, Robinson 5), UCLA 16 (Singleton, Jaquez 4). Total fouls — Washington St. 18, UCLA 17. A — 5,125.

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