UCLA routs Washington 88-66 to end 2-game skid
LOS ANGELES (AP) With time running out on securing a top-four seed in the Pac-12 tournament, the UCLA Bruins are playing with a sense of urgency.
They want to finish among the top four to avoid playing four games in four days at the Pac-12 tournament next month. The Bruins took a step toward their goal with an 88-66 rout of Washington on Wednesday night that moved them into sole possession of fifth place.
''As long as we win our last two home games I don't know how we don't get a bye,'' coach Steve Alford said. ''We've got to put everything into these next two games.''
Norman Powell scored 24 points, Tony Parker added 20 and UCLA led all the way in ending its two-game skid. The Bruins (17-12, 9-7 Pac-12) were coming off getting swept in the Arizona desert last weekend. They're desperate to end the regular season with three straight victories at home to bolster their NCAA tournament resume, which lacks any wins over top-notch opponents.
''We control our own destiny,'' Powell said. ''If we start putting the pressure on us and start thinking about it too much, things will fall apart. We're not going to be too worried about what could happen. We're going to take care of our business.''
Andrew Andrews scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half to lead the Huskies (15-12, 4-11), who have lost eight of their last nine and are just ahead of last-place Southern California in the league standings. Andrews was coming off a career-high 35-point effort in a win over Washington State.
''UCLA really had a size advantage against us,'' Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. ''When they score 50 points in the paint, they did what they needed to do and it makes it hard to recover from that. Parker really caught it deep in the paint and he set the tone.''
Nigel Williams-Goss added 17 points for the Huskies.
UCLA improved to 15-1 at home and has won five in a row over the Huskies, who were making their first trip to Pauley Pavilion since 2012-13.
The Bruins raced out to a 19-5 lead to start the game and kept going from there. They led by 18 points on Bryce Alford's dunk and were twice up by 21 points late in the first half before going into the break ahead 46-25. UCLA shot 64 percent and controlled the boards, 24-10, while holding the Huskies to 29 percent shooting.
Alford's alley-oop pass set up a monster dunk by Powell, who had 13 points in the first half.
''Everybody was motivated,'' Powell said. ''A lot of it had to do with coach being out and we had frustration from the last road trip. We got back into practice and focused on tightening everything up. Tony got physical in the post and got everything he wanted, and that's what we need out of him.''
Washington tried to get back into the game with a rash of 3-pointers in the second half. The Huskies made 10, with Andrews hitting three, but they never got within single digits.
Kevon Looney scored all of his nine points in the second half for the Bruins, who opened with a 21-11 run that extended the lead to 67-36. Parker and Isaac Hamilton scored six points each, Looney had five, and Powell added four.
Hamilton finished with 16 points and 10 assists.
Washington: The Huskies haven't won at Pauley since a 74-63 victory on Dec. 31, 2011. ... Jernard Jarreau was scoreless in his second game since returning from a right knee injury.
UCLA: Alford was on the bench after undergoing hernia surgery and missing practice the last two days. ... UCLA's only loss at home has been to then-No. 9 Gonzaga.
Parker was eager to turn things around after fouling out in losses at Arizona State and Arizona last weekend. He had two points and one rebound in each game. Against the Huskies, he made 10 of 12 shots.
''It was big for my confidence to play a big-time role in getting this win,'' he said. ''Staying out of foul trouble was a big thing.''
Huskies forward Shawn Kemp Jr. missed the game because of a concussion, leaving the smaller Huskies without Kemp's 6-foot-9 muscle inside.
''We are hoping his symptoms decrease so he'll be ready on Sunday,'' coach Romar said. ''Fortunately, he does not have any dizziness, but he is sensitive to light.''
Washington: At Southern California on Saturday.
UCLA: Host Washington State on Sunday.