UCLA used superior athleticism and smothering defensive against Luke Harangody to overwhelm Notre Dame 89-63 Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Alfred Aboya led a balanced UCLA attack with 19 points and senior guard Darren Collison added 17. The Bruins led by 26 points at halftime and played bench players much of the second half.
UCLA’s smothering defense has forced 74 turnovers in the last four games. The Bruins are now 19-4 overall.
Notre Dame didn’t really show up to play. The Irish looked flustered from the opening tip and fell behind 14-2. Harangody got some good looks early, but faded as the game progressed. He finished with five points on 2-10 shooting and one rebound. He failed to record a single point or rebound in the second half.
Kyle McAlarney and Tory Jackson broke out of prolonged slumps and played well for the Irish. Jackson scored 17 and grabbed eight rebounds while Puff-Puff Give shot 6-10 and scored 16 points.
The Irish seem content to blame the seven-game skid on a brutal schedule. Mike Brey needs to hold players accountable for mistakes and force Harangody to stay in the post.
Notre Dame fell to 12-10 with the loss and needs a win Monday against Louisville to make a push for the NIT.