LOS ANGELES — The will on the part of the Indiana State men’s basketball was there. So was the execution at times, even as six Sycamores made their debut against No. 13 UCLA.
The shots, however, never materialized.
ISU never got into an offensive flow against the defensive-minded Bruins. ISU shot 31.7 percent from the field and paid a heavy price for the misses as the Bruins won 86-59 in Pauley Pavilion’s re-christening.
“Sometimes that’s the way it goes,” said ISU point guard Jake Odum on ISU’s poor shooting. “When things like that happen, you can’t let it affect your defense. In the first half, we didn’t. But in the second half, we did.”
Justin Gant and Khristian Smith co-led ISU with 11 points. Manny Arop added 10. Gant also had eight rebounds. Jordan Adams led the Bruins with 21 points. David Wear had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The shooting woes ISU experienced were felt in myriad ways. The Sycamores were 5 of 26 from 3-point range, including 1 of 11 in the first half.
UCLA is renowned for its defensive prowess under coach Ben Howland, but even he couldn’t credit his team’s defense completely for ISU’s shooting woes.
“Indiana State had some open looks that they missed. They were 5 of 26 from 3-point range. I don’t think we can take all of the credit for that,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said.
ISU (0-1) was 16 of 26 at the free throw line, but was 4 of 10 in a close first half where the misses really hurt.
Despite the shooting woes, Lansing saw things he liked. Given how many new players the Sycamores had on the floor, and how well UCLA plays defense, offensive ball movement and spacing was solid.
“I saw more positive than negative,” Lansing said. “Our shooting percentages were terrible. I know we’re a better shooting team than that. I think we’ll be OK there.”