Pullman, WA – Losers of nine straight, with their last win coming back in late January, Washington State truly had nothing to lose.
And with that mentality came a win.
Brock Motum scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, as the Cougars jumped out to a jaw-dropping lead and held off every UCLA rally to down the 23rd- ranked Bruins, 73-61.
Washington State (12-18, 3-13 Pac-12) was just 2-14 in its last 16 games prior to Wednesday. UCLA (22-8, 12-5), fresh off a season sweep of Arizona, came in on a four-game winning streak.
And then the ball was tipped.
Royce Woolridge sparked an early 25-4 lead and ended with 19 points, while D.J. Shelton added 13 points and six rebounds. Dexter Kernich-Drew posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
"We've been scrutinized quite a bit on how bad we are, we've lost this game and that game and how we lose the games and everything else. It's nice to go out and beat a quality team and play good basketball," Washington State head coach Ken Bone said.
Jordan Adams scored 18 points and Shabazz Muhammad added 14 in the loss. Muhammad made just 4-of-19 shots, part of UCLA's 38.6 percent shooting night. UCLA had entered the night tied with Oregon for the top spot in the league standings.
UCLA looked out of sorts over the game's first 11-plus minutes, scoring just four points and looking up at a 21-point deficit. The Bruins made just two of their first 12 shots, committed sloppy turnovers and didn't play much defense to boot.
Woolridge's jumper gave the Cougars a 19-2 lead nearly halfway home in the first half, and he made another short jumper followed by Motum's bucket for a 25-4 advantage.
UCLA scored the next eight and inch by inch, bucket by bucket, started to creep closer. Five in a row from Adams at the end of the half brought the Bruins within 35-24 at the half. UCLA scored 20 points in the last 8:21 after just four points before that point.
Muhammad's three-pointer cut the margin to 37-31 with plenty of time left in the second half, but the Cougars didn't relent, pushing the margin back to a dozen at 50-38 on Kernich-Drew's three-point play with 10 minutes to play.
UCLA got no closer than eight the rest of the way.
Washington State lost to UCLA, 76-62, back on February 9 ... The Cougars made 49 percent of their shots and dominated the glass, holding a staggering 46-23 advantage, including 21 offensive rebounds ... Will Dilorio recorded eight points and seven rebounds in the win.