UCLA vs. Ohio State score: Bruins lose third in a row as Buckeyes roll to easy win in CBS Sports Classic

CHICAGO -- UCLA's brutal last eight days got a little worse Saturday, as the Bruins fell 80-66 to No. 15 Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic to extend their losing streak to three.

UCLA led for just more than 12 minutes of game action and remained competitive, until the final minutes, but it was all-around tough sledding to keep pace with the all-over-the-place Buckeyes. Ohio State was simply too much. It forced 15 turnovers, owned a final 41-34 rebounding advantage, and made double the 3-pointers (eight) than the Bruins did, while putting up 10 more shots. Perhaps most telling was its 26 team assists to UCLA's 14.

The Bruins lacked ball movement and its unimaginative, no-motion offense sunk into sand in the second half as the Buckeyes exploded for 47 points in the final frame while grinding the Bruins to the ground. UCLA couldn't keep pace as Ohio State turned up the pressure, leading to it mustering only 36 points of its own in the losing effort.

Trying times are ahead for UCLA as things aren't likely to get easier in L.A. The loss drops them to 7-5 on the season, with a still-challenging contest against Liberty on tap before Pac-12 play begins on Jan. 3. Win or lose, it's hard to imagine unease surrounding Steve Alford's job security will go away soon barring a big-time turnaround in conference play. Strictly from a talent perspective, UCLA should have had the upper hand on Saturday -- and yet the Buckeyes were never truly in real danger of dropping this one.

On the opposite end of the spectrum for Ohio State, things are looking quite rosy. Now 11-1 with marquee wins over UCLA, Creighton and Cincy, it's once again looking like Chris Holtmann -- who lost three starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team -- has his Buckeyes on the up and up once more with legitimate Big Ten title aspirations and realistic hopes of getting to the Big Dance for a second consecutive season.

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