UCLA two steps behind in Pac-12 after dropping game at Washington St.

Aaron Holiday had 15 points for UCLA on Sunday, but it wasn’t nearly enough. (USATSI)

The UCLA Bruins are putting together an odd dossier.

Steve Alford’s team opened up Pac-12 play this weekend with some unfortunate showings. Specifically: back-to-back losses on the road. The first one game on Friday night with a wild overtime affair against Washington. But a loss for the Bruins. On Sunday, UCLA was unable to inspire itself to a lead at any point in the second half, and so the Bruins lost 85-78 to a 9-5 Washington State squad.

This means the Bruins now own wins over Kentucky and Gonzaga, but have losses against the Washington schools, plus Wake Forest and Monmouth. (And North Carolina and Kansas, but those are in no way an indictment.)

UCLA was ranked No. 25 in the country heading into Pac-12 play. Now it will need to go from 0-2 to something like 9-3 if it wants to enter back into the national polls. It can get better with home games against the Arizona schools on Thursday and Saturday. After that, a home tilt against USC. So now’s the time for UCLA to bounce back and show what it can be, like the team we saw play so well against Kentucky.

The Pac-12 is wide open this season, but rare is the case when any team starts 0-2 in the league and rallies to win a regular-season conference title.

Fo Wazzu, by far the best win of this season for Ernie Kent’s club. Now it has a six-day off period before hosting rival UW on Saturday.

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