The UCLA Bruins will look to get back into the win column and snap a four-game slide Saturday when the Cal Poly Mustangs pay a visit to Pauley Pavilion. UCLA's losing streak reached four games Sunday with a disappointing 66-57 defeat at home to the visiting Montana Grizzlies. UCLA made good on just 31.3 percent of its shots and was 4-of-18 from three point range in addition to suffering 16 turnovers. Malcolm Lee tallied 13 points on just 4-of-12 shooting from the floor, missing all four of his attempts from three point range. Tyler Honeycutt accounted for 11 points and seven rebounds, but he too had problems from beyond the arc (2-of-8) and from the field overall (3-of-12). The Bruins were coming off a near upset of fourth-ranked Kansas on the road last Thursday. The Jayhawks needed a single free throw from Mario Little with 0.7 seconds remaining to escape with a 77-76 win.
Cal Poly lost for the second time in three games Saturday via a 67-48 defeat at home to Loyola Marymount. The Mustangs shot a miserable 7-of-24 from the floor in the first half to fall behind by eight at intermission. Although, the Mustangs' shooting improved in the second half, Loyola Marymount made nearly more free throws in the second half (10) than the hosts attempted all game (12). Malik Love had a game-high 16 points in the setback for Cal Poly, while Shawn Lewis chipped in 13 points.
The Bruins and Mustangs will be meeting for the first time in 55 years Saturday. UCLA has won all four of the previous matchups and last notched a victory in the series on January 29, 1955 in an 84-55 final.
The Bruins' losing streak also includes a spirited effort against then seventh-ranked Villanova back on November 24 in an 80-72 final, so the storied program has an ability to stand tall against tough opponents but also to play down to the competition. Overall, UCLA is shooting a healthy 46.2 percent from the field and averaging 72.4 points per game. The Bruins have four players averaging double-figure scoring with Honeycutt leading the way at 16.7 points. Reeves Nelson is putting up 14.0 points per game and a team-leading 9.0 rebounds. Honeycutt is second with 8.0 rpg. Rounding out the top four Bruin scorers are Lazeric Jones (11.7 ppg) and Lee (10.5).
The Mustangs have been plagued by poor shooting all year and will need to improve their efficiency to have any hope of beating UCLA. Through seven games, Cal Poly is connecting on just 36.9 percent of its field goals and 28.1 percent from three point range. A subpar 66.7 percent effort from the free throw line doesn't help matters. The Mustangs on average are also being outrebounded (34.4-33.6) and outscored (60.3-57.7) on a consistent basis. David Hanson is the Mustangs' leading scorer at 15.4 points per game while pulling down 5.6 rebounds. Lewis checks in at 13.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, while Will Donahue serves as the team's leading rebounder with 8.6 per contest and averages 9.3 points. (Sports Network)
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