The Alabama State Hornets (2-9, 0-7 away) are on the West Coast to take on the #4 UCLA Bruins (8-1, 5-0 home) in a non-conference contest before the Bruins take on North Carolina this weekend. Alabama State has lost four straight, their most recent coming Saturday at Pepperdine. UCLA’s won four in a row, including a road win over the Marquette this past weekend.
Wednesday night’s tipoff is at 11 p.m. EST inside Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, CA. UCLA is a massive 35-point favorite, and the over-under total is at 146.5 points.
What to Know – Alabama State Hornets
The season is off to a rough start for the Hornets out of Montgomery, AL. The Hornets have just one victory over a division-1 opponent and have an average margin of defeat by nearly 15 points. Alabama State was selected to finish eighth in a preseason poll for the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Alabama State is averaging 67.7 points per game behind a 41.8% shooting from the floor and 28.6% from three. Defensively, the Hornets surrender 82.5 points, 44.0% shooting from the field, and 33.0% from the beyond the arc to opponents.
In Saturday’s 79-62 defeat to Pepperdine, the Hornets went to into the halftime break trailing by only two before an offensive outburst by the Waves sent Alabama State packing. The Hornets were outrebounded, 41-33, and shot only 36.9% from the floor.
Kenny Strawbridge led the Hornets in scoring with 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Gerald Liddell added 14 points, hitting 6-of-12 shots from the field.
What to Know – UCLA Bruins
After suffering their lone loss to Gonzaga last month, the Bruins have rallied to win four consecutive games, including three on the road. UCLA came out of the First Four games to punch their ticket to the Final Four last year and look poised to make another postseason run this coming march.
The Bruins score 81.1 points per game, shooting 45.3% from the floor and 39.0% from three. UCLA is one of the best perimeter shooting teams in the country. UCLA’s defense holds opponents to 65.6 points per game, 42.0% shooting from the field, and 32.5% from the arc.
UCLA’s plane was diverted to Denver, and the team arrived in Milwaukee after an eight-hour delay. The game time was pushed back, and the Bruins busted out to a 35-21 halftime lead and never looked back.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. led all scorers with 24 points, shooting 7-of-16 and adding 11 boards. Johnny Juzang and Tyger Campbell chipped in 12 points apiece in the Bruins victory.
The Pick is In
UCLA gets a tuneup before facing the Tar Heels in Las Vegas this weekend. Alabama State wraps up their two-game swing on the West Coast with their first-ever meeting against the Bruins.
The spread is high, but the mismatch between these two teams is even higher. However, the Bruins should get out to a sizable first-half lead and play a lot of their non-starters in the second half. The Hornets keep this around a 30-point defeat with a late run toward the end of the game.
Betting Pick: Alabama State Hornets +35