To lead off the gamethread, DCBruins asked whether tonight's game would be a letdown or a blowout. Through most of the first half, it looked to be the former. Despite coming to LA with only 6 scholarship players, ASU knocked off the trogans rather easily on Thursday night, and controlled the game early at Honda Center. The Sun Devils were shooting lights out the first 10 minutes of the game, peaking with a 24-14 lead at the midway point of the 1st half. The UCLA defense finally started cracking down on the Sun Devils, and the offense started clicking, with the Bruins taking the lead for good with a Josh Smith 3-point play with 2 and a half minutes left in the first half. The game stayed close a little ways into the second half - with the Bruins going on a 20-2 run in an 8 minute span starting at 13:00 remaining to effectively end the game. Coach Howland was even able to get Tyler Trapani and some of his other walk-ons into the game for the final minute. The final score from Anaheim was UCLA 75, Arizona State 58.
As I noted in the start, Joshua Smith had recovered sufficiently from his concussion to play tonight, and looked pretty good against the undermanned ASU squad - leading the team with 18 points on 8-12 shooting, but 2-5 from the line and 4 rebounds. Travis Wear came close with 16 points and 7 boards. The day after Coach Howland talked about moving Lazeric Jones off the ball more often, Zeek shot 3-10 from the field but finished the game with 10 assists - playing a team high 38 minutes.
It is tough to take too much from tonight's result. It was a win, by a solid final margin against a conference opponent. And while the struggles in the opening minutes was another example of an all too familiar problem, the team was able to put those early issues behind them and turn on the gas. But against a team playing without its point guard and most of its depth, being able to blow a game open should not be an issue. The Bruins are now 2-2 in Pac-12 play, with a must-win game against the trogans next weekend leading into this year's Oregon road trip.Go ahead and share your thoughts on tonight's game and the day's other Pac-12 action in here. As always, consider sharing any extended takes that you have as a fanpost. This is your UCLA/ASU postgame open thread.