Sunday, 10 December 2017 16:23

Bruins Lose Tough One On the Road

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Holiday A Cal 022516A never say die Michigan (8-3) team had to overcome a second-half 15 point deficit to upend No. 23 ranked UCLA (7-2) in overtime, 78-69. In victory, the Wolverines remain unbeaten at the Crisler Center and stand a perfect 6-0.

“Proud of the guys’ effort as this is the first true road game,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “I thought we really did give great effort.

“In terms of our thought process, we just didn’t really think the way we’ve been thinking especially in the last six or seven minutes of the game.

“Give Michigan credit they made a huge run when they were down 15. A lot of that credit goes to how hard and smart their guys play.”

Though the Bruins gave a ton of effort, at times UCLA was very sloppy with the basketball. It showed up on the stat sheet, too, with a season-high 20 turnovers. The Wolverines outscored UCLA by 10 in points off of turnovers,  24-14 and that margin was the difference between winning and losing.

“We turned the ball over 20 times,” Alford said. “I thought that was the difference in the game. They turned it over 11 times, we turned it over 20. You can’t do that on the road.

“We got to the free-throw line, we out rebounded them, shooting percentages were about the same. We got beat form the 3-point line but we kind of figured that would happen especially in their building. I thought we defended the 3-point line pretty well.

“There were a lot of positives but we just did not make a lot of smart plays. We have five new guys playing their first true road game and I think that’s going to happen as long as we can learn from that.”

If the Bruins can learn from their mistakes this could end up being a pretty good basketball team and fun to watch.

Aaron Holiday led all scorers with his career high, 27 points. He also added a game-high seven assists. Thomas Welsh tied his career best, 22 points and had a game-high 10 boards.

UCLA will have a week to learn the tough lessons of this loss before returning to Pauley Pavilion to play No. 17 Cincinnati (7-2) next Saturday, Dec. 16. The contest against the Bearcats will once again be nationally televised by CBS. Game time is 12:30 PM PST.

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