WSU

No. 19 WSU ties school record for conference wins by beating UCLA 77-65

Mar 2, 2024, 7:16 PM | Updated: 9:38 pm

WSU Jaylen Wells...

WSU's Jaylen Wells in action against UCLA on March 2, 2024. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Jaylen Wells matched a career high with 27 points, including 11 in the final 7 1/2 minutes as No. 19 WSU beat UCLA 77-65 on Saturday.

WSU 77, UCLA 65: Stats

The Cougars (23-7, 14-5) rallied for the second time in two days to stay a half-game behind first-place Arizona in the Pac-12 race. They reached 23 wins for the first time since 2007, and their 14th victory in conference play equaled a school record.

Washington State still has a chance to win the Pac-12 regular-season title, but will need Arizona to drop at least one game next weekend.

With 7:23 left, UCLA guard Will McClendon was called for a flagrant-2 foul and ejected for hitting Washington State’s Isaac Jones below the waist. The ejection sent Bruins coach Mick Cronin into a tizzy and fired up both the Cougars and the Beasley Coliseum crowd.

Jones missed both free throws after the flagrant foul, but Wells made a 3-pointer – his third of the game – to tie the score and start an 8-0 run by the Cougars.

Washington State ended the game on a 22-7 spurt.

Myles Rice had 18 points for the Cougars, who have their highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since February 2008.

Wells, a 6-foot-8 junior, was 10 of 10 from the free-throw line. He also scored 27 points in a win at No. 4 Arizona in February.

Dylan Andrews led UCLA (14-15, 9-9) with 21 points. Lazar Stefanovic had 11 points and eight rebounds.

The Bruins quickly erased a 40-32 halftime deficit and controlled a big chunk of the second half with strong post play. Adem Bona and Aday Mara combined for 12 points to give UCLA a 56-53 advantage. But the Bruins made just two shots over the final nine minutes.

After a second straight sluggish start at home, Washington State outscored UCLA 34-13 over the final 13 minutes of the first half.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: A frustrating season continues. The Bruins controlled the first part of both halves but ran into foul trouble and couldn’t get enough stops as they lost their fourth straight game.

WSU: The Cougars continued their recent shaky but resilient play. They’ve lacked offensive rhythm and struggled to hit timely free throws — especially Jones, who was 3 of 8 from the line. But they made buckets when it counted.

UP NEXT

UCLA: Hosts No. 6 Arizona on Thursday.

WSU: Hosts rival Washington on Thursday.

No. 19 WSU rallies from 12 points down to top USC 75-72

WSU

Seattle Seahawks NFL Draft Jaden Hicks...

Brandon Gustafson

Seahawks Draft: A versatile WSU Cougars standout on defense

WSU safety Jaden Hicks is "awesome" and "a really good defender," PFF's Trevor Sikema said when discussing the Seattle Seahawks and NFL Draft.

7 days ago

WSU Cougars David Riley EWU basketball coach...

The Associated Press

New WSU coach David Riley embraces uncertainty with Cougars

David Riley finally found an opportunity in WSU that made him think it was time to leave what he helped create at Eastern Washington.

9 days ago

WSU women's basketball Bella Murekatete...

The Associated Press

‘Pac-2′ of WSU, Oregon State cashing in, could be more to come

Thanks to four men’s teams from the Pac-12 Conference making the NCAA Tournament — and all winning at least one game — WSU and Oregon State have added another chunk of change to their coffers over the last couple weeks.

10 days ago

WSU Cougars David Riley EWU basketball coach...

The Associated Press

WSU hires David Riley away from EWU as basketball coach

WSU hired David Riley as its basketball coach on Tuesday, nabbing the two-time Big Sky Conference coach of the year at a time of uncertainty for the Cougars.

11 days ago

WSU Cougars coach search basketball Matt Logie...

Zac Hereth

Report: WSU Cougars’ coaching candidate declines offer

The WSU Cougars' coaching searching continues after the university was unable to lure Matt Logie away from Montana State, per Matt Norlander of CBS Sports.

11 days ago

WSU Cougars Illinois WBIT...

The Associated Press

Top-seeded WSU Cougars fall in WBIT semifinals to Illinois 81-58

Makira Cook scored 16 of her 20 points in the first half as fourth-seeded Illinois beat top-seeded WSU Cougars 81-58 in the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament semifinals.

12 days ago

No. 19 WSU ties school record for conference wins by beating UCLA 77-65