Behind the highest-energy crowd of the season at Pauley Pavilion, both No. 3 UCLA and No. 14 Arizona played frantically out of the gates.
After taking just five shots all game Thursday night in the rout over Arizona State, freshman guard Lonzo Ball came out swinging.
He started 3-for-3, hitting two 3s and glided in for a fast break layup in the opening minutes before finishing the half with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Boasting the No. 1 defense in the Pac-12, the Wildcats then managed to slow down the pace and tame the No. 1 offense in the conference, heading into halftime with a 48-37 lead over the home team.
The Bruins shot 44.1 percent from the field and just 21.4 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Arizona outrebounded UCLA 23-15, including a 6-3 edge on the offensive boards. Maybe more importantly, the 3-point splashes that often demoralize Bruin opponents weren’t there. The Wildcats caught fire, hitting 7-of-12 3s while the Bruins managed just 3-of-14.
Known for relentless ball movement, UCLA couldn’t seem to find its rhythm offensively. Of the 15 made shots, only six were assisted on.
The half ended as Arizona’s sophomore guard Allonzo Trier boarded a Lonzo Ball miss, raced down the court and flipped in a layup right before the buzzer. The Wildcats are beating the Bruins at their own game.