Still, the sting of losing here for the third straight season was felt harshly. “We didn’t play hard enough,” UCLA center Lorenzo Mata said. “That’s something we have to do every game. We have to play harder than our opponent, and it’s something we didn’t do.” The Bruins did not excuse their lack of energy on circumstance, namely wrapping up the Pac-10 title Thursday at Washington State, which rendered this game meaningless. When UCLA lost at West Virginia without Collison, the starting point guard, is was understandable. But to have a game altered substantially because a key reserve did not play speaks toward the Bruins vulnerability. Aboya, UCLA’s top reserve at power forward and center, averages 4.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, and also brings intangibles in experience and a toughness, which the Bruins clearly lacked. Washington’s dynamic inside duo of power forward Jon Brockman (20 points, 13 rebounds) and center Spencer Hawes (13, 15) combined for 33 points and 28 rebounds, and led the Huskies (18-12, 8-10) to a 15-rebound (44-29) advantage. UCLA center Ryan Wright and power forward James Keefe, who teamed to replace Aboya, scored two points, committed four fouls and failed to grab a rebound. “They didn’t get a rebound between the two of them in 14 minutes,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said when asked to assess the play of Aboya’s replacements. Mata and power forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute were forced to play alone inside, without much of a break against the bullish Brockman and Hawes. Mata and Mbah a Moute combined for 15 points and 15 rebounds. Wright and Keefe were so ineffective, Howland played them four combined minutes in the second half. Howland also went nearly eight minutes, a large chunk of it when UCLA cut a 48-32 lead to 52-51 with 2:54 to play, without making a substitution. And UCLA’s rebounding deficiencies were accentuated when Hawes’ tip-in of a missed Justin Dentmon shot gave the Huskies a 54-51 lead, and slowed the Bruins’ momentum. Josh Shipp had a chance to tie it on UCLA’s next possession, but his 24-foot 3-point attempt, which Howland said was “too far” of a shot, missed the mark with two minutes remaining, and the Huskies held on to win. Shipp led UCLA with 13 points, Afflalo added 12 and Collison had five as he labored through a 2 for 15 shooting display. UCLA, which missed its first seven shots and trailed 9-0 nearly six minutes in, scored a season-low 20 points in the first half and shot suffered through a horrific shooting 31.3 percent overall. Perhaps the best news for UCLA is Aboya said he expected to play Thursday in the Pac-10 tournament. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! With backup Alfred Aboya and his 17 minutes per game on the bench with a knee injury, No. 2 UCLA was pounded on the boards, lacked the type of intensity Aboya usually helps generate, and ended the regular season with a 61-51 loss to Washington in front of 10,000 at Hec Ed Pavilion. The loss ended a five-game winning streak, but doesn’t figure to impact the Bruins’ chances of being a No. 1 seed in the West in the NCAA Tournament, providing top-seeded UCLA (26-4, 15-3 Pac-10) doesn’t exit next week’s Pacific-10 tournament early. SEATTLE – Arron Afflalo said it time and again, and so did Darren Collison. They are UCLA’s leaders, but both said throughout the season how, despite UCLA’s star power, every member was invaluable. A theory that may have fallen on deaf ears before was advanced markedly Saturday, when the Bruins showed the razor-thin line between them being one of the nation’s elite teams, and just another good team.