Bruin fans could get used to that sort of game.
UCLA capped a stellar week in Orange County with a 75-58 Pac-12 Conference victory over Arizona State at Honda Center on Saturday night.
And it started in the post, where sophomore Joshua Smith did his best to make up for missing Thursday night's win over Arizona due to a concussion. The 6-foot-10 center had his best performance of the season with 18 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes. Coach Ben Howland pointed out that Smith not only looked for his shots, he attacked the basket.
"He opens up everything for us," said senior guard Lazeric Jones about Smith. "There are a lot of cuts to the basket, wide open jump shots. Josh is a force, and teams have to help down on him or he can make them pay for it if they're playing him 1-on-1. And Josh is a good passer too, so for him to be aggressive can really help us."
He was accompanied by Travis and David Wear, who both followed up great games on Thursday night with another solid showing. Travis had 16 points and seven rebounds, five on the offensive glass. David had eight points and nine rebounds.
It wasn't just the post players who stood out. Jones and Jerime Anderson continued to give the Bruins (9-7, 2-2) multiple attack points. Jones had eight points, 10 assists and two steals, while Anderson had seven points, four assists and four steals. Tyler Lamb and Norman Powell both added nine points each as well. Powell and Smith paired for all 27 bench points for the Bruins, which only gave up six to the short-handed Sun Devils (5-10, 1-2), who suspended three players for their trip to Southern California and were limited to six scholarship players.
"Our players seized the opportunity," Howland said. "We had a great weekend. It was a positive step."
UCLA hasn't had the season it anticipated, just two games above .500, but it's an interesting time for the team, which is still in the thick of the Pac-12 race. Players and Howland both pointed to three strong practices early in the week that led to a pair of victories. Now, they'll rest for two days before having a full week of practice before playing rival USC at the Galen Center on Sunday, Jan. 15.
"I'm glad we've got a week off," Howland said. "They're starting school (again). We need this time.
"These practices will be real big in the weeks to come (for us)."
The Bruins need to turn those practices into more performances like their wins over Arizona and ASU to prove their coach right.