Thursday, 16 November 2017 16:02

Bruins Survive UCA In Overtime

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UCLA Hoops UCAIt was a complete team effort that saw UCLA (2-0) propel themselves to a 106-105 victory in overtime. It took all the Bruins had to defeat an inspired and feisty Central Arkansas (1-2) team.

“That was a tough one,” UCLA coach Steve Alford. “I thought our guys did a lot of good things and found ways to win. I think the same thing happened in China against a really tough Georgia Tech team. It’s not an easy schedule and it’s not getting any easier with three games in five days. We are asking a lot but we have to do a good job in preparation.

“There is a lot of room to grow for this team and that’s what is exciting. We have a lot of guys even with that growth make a lot of really good plays and have some good things happen.

“But we have young players, five of our eight that played tonight did not play last year so they are learning what scouting reports are and why personnel matters and are learning quickly.

“We only have so long until the next game and then we go to Kansas City to play two really good teams. Your prep has to be accelerated and for young players, it takes a while for that to sink in. And when that finally does you’ll see their games go to the next level because they are such great talents.”

Six Bruins scored in double figures led by a career-high 24 points by junior point guard Aaron Holiday. Including a clutch 5-5 effort from the foul line in the overtime period.

Freshman guard Kris Wilkes is showing big time clutch playing skills. Wilkes registered his first career double-double, scoring a career-high in both points (20) and rebounds (also a game-high 12 boards).

Senior center Thomas Welsh contributed his 20th career double-double scoring 16 points and coming down with 11 boards. Freshman guard, Jaylen Hands scored 10 points and had a team-high six assists.

The Bruins also received help off the bench, sophomore guard Prince Ali, had his best game since having to sit out last season with an injury, scoring 12 points and the same can be said about Alex Olesinski who scored 10 points, including two clutch free throws in overtime.

UCLA had overcome an outstanding effort by Central Arkansas from beyond the three-point stripe. Bear senior guard Jordan Howard led all scorers with 35, including hitting 8-15 from beyond the arc. Junior shooting guard Thatch Unruh added 20, including 4-6 from beyond the 3-point stripe.

Freshman center, Hayden Koval and senior guard, Mathieu Kamba scored 15 points apiece.

The Bruins next hit the floor on Friday Evening, November 17, 2017, in Pauley Pavilion against South Carolina State. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST.

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