The fog hovering over the Spokane airport Friday made the UCLA basketball team's trip to the Northwest a little more frustrating.
Instead of a quick flight from Seattle to Spokane and a short bus ride to Pullman, Wash., the Bruins had a long wait at Seattle-Tacoma Airport and then a seven-hour bus ride to Pullman. And that was followed by an evening practice.
UCLA will play Washington State today. Coach Walt Hazzard wasn't going to go into that game without a practice. Not after losing to Washington Thursday night by 25 points.
UCLA, 6-4 overall and 1-2 in the Pacific 10, has lost two straight games, both in the conference. UCLA was beaten at home by Oregon State before losing to Washington.
Washington State has a record of 8-8 overall, 1-2 in the Pac-10. But the Cougars are coming off a 65-58 victory over USC Thursday night.
Before beating the Trojans, though, Washington State had suffered through a three-game losing streak.
Hazzard said: "They've been on the skids lately, but that doesn't mean much when you're playing at Pullman. Pullman is always a tough place to play. When we went in there last year, they had a 13-game losing streak. We snapped it."
UCLA's biggest problem against Washington was dealing with 7-foot center Chris Welp. The Bruins don't have anyone who can match up with a 7-footer. At least, against Washington State, the front line is comparable.
Washington State's biggest starter is 6-9 senior forward Otis Jennings. The Cougar center is 6-8 sophomore Brian Quinett.
Bruin Notes UCLA's game at Washington State this afternoon at 3 will be televised live on Channel 2 and broadcast live on KMPC (710). . . . Three of the Bruins' last four games at Friel Court have gone into overtime, with Washington State winning two of them. UCLA won, 89-87, in overtime in 1983. . . . Forward Kelvin Butler, who did not start for the Bruins at Washington Thursday night, still had his biggest scoring night with 13 points, making all four of his shots and five of six free throws. . . . Len Stevens, who moved up from his spot as an assistant when George Raveling left for Iowa three years ago, has a 31-41 record as Washington State's head coach. . . . Ken Mathia, a 7-foot center, has decided to leave Washington State to study at a smaller college. Mathia announced Friday that he will return to his home in Dublin, Calif., to determine his future. Mathia said the demand on his time for basketball and studies was too great at Washington State. He had not started the last four games.