Wednesday, 22 November 2017 15:18

It's A Happy Bruin Holiday, UCLA Wins 72-70

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UCLA Wisc HolidayIt’s going to be a very Happy Holiday for UCLA (4-1) because junior point guard Aaron Holiday put the team on his back scoring the last 10 points for the Bruins knocking off a determined Wisconsin (2-3) team, 72-70.

Holiday led all Bruin scorers with 18, tied for a game-high with five assists and didn’t turn the ball over. Just an outstanding performance by Holiday.

Four other Bruins scored in double figures. Gyorgy Golomon scored a season-high 11 points, all in the first-half. Thomas Welsh scored 11 points. Jaylen Hands scored 10 points and Prince Ali once again supplied points off the bench scoring 10.

“I’m pleased with our basketball team through a difficult stretch,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “We already have a win over a Big Ten team [Wisconsin] and an ACC team [Georgia Tech] and played a very good Big East team last night [Creighton], so I’m very proud of what our guys are doing. I think we are growing. I thought we lost the game last night, and grew some, especially offensively, and we carried that over tonight offensively. We turned the ball over a little bit more than we wanted, but this is a scrappy team [Wisconsin].

“This is a very difficult team to score against. To shoot 54 percent, and to play the way we played offensively in the second half. We grew defensively in the second half as well.

“To come to this tournament and grow, that was something that was a big concern for us. Now, we go home for a four-game homestand. We are 4-1 and we’re growing. That is crucial.

“I couldn’t be more happy for this guy [Aaron Holiday] — he made big play after big play. I thought he really came up big in the end.”

Yes, Holiday showed up big time and the Bruins were able to overcome 12-0 run in the first-half, something they weren’t able to do 24-hours earlier against Creighton.

“It’s always fun to win,” Bruin point guard Aaron Holiday said. “I am glad we got the win. That is all I care about, to be honest.

“The first half, I didn’t play like I should have. I let my teammates down. So, in the second half I came out and tried to be aggressive and make the right plays, and that is what I did.”

Holiday talks about the play that had all the Bruin faithful talking about his buzzer-beating drive to the rack.

“I dribbled left, came off the screen,” Holiday said. “They tipped the ball out. I got it back. I looked up, had two-seconds, and just went to the cup.

“You just dream of it growing up. You dream of big moments, being there, and making the big play. I just try to be aggressive. My teammates and my coach gave me confidence and gave me the ball, and we came up with the win.”

Ethan Happ led Wisconsin in scoring with a game-high 19 points and assists tying the game high of five.

Finally a little rest for the weary, the Bruins next play UC Irvine Sunday, Nov. 26 in Pauley Pavilion. The tip scheduled for 3:00 PM PST to face UC The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.

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