Tuesday, 19 December 2017 15:12

UCLA To Host South Dakota

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Welsh T USC030917UCLA (7-3) will try to end a two-game losing streak when the Bruins welcome South Dakota (11-3) for a contest held in Pauley Pavilion, Tuesday Evening, December 19, 2017. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST.

Turnovers have hampered the Bruin the last two games that have ended up in losses. Both Michigan and Cincinnati played an aggressive pressure defense that created problems for UCLA.

The Bearcats added a wrinkle to their defense by double-teaming UCLA big man, Thomas Welsh and the Bruin offense was squelched leading to an 18-0 run that UCLA never recovered from.

In the two losses, the Bruins were outscored by double-figures, in points scored off of turnovers. If the Bruins are going to get back on the winning track, they going to have to take care of the basketball.

Against the Bearcats, UCLA had three players that scored in double-figures. Aaron Holiday scored 17 points, Jaylen Hands added 14 points off the bench and Kris Wilkes chipped in 12 points.

The glaring omission from that list was Welsh. It will help UCLA’s cause if Welsh gets more touches and if he gets doubled then the Bruins have to make the defense pay by hitting the open man for an easy deuce.

South Dakota is coached by Craig Smith, who is in his fourth year at the helm. Last time out the Coyotes (pronounced ki-YOTES), took care of business against San Jose State, 76-62.

The Coyotes were 22-12 in 2016-17 and were 12-4 during conference play. Good enough to take the Summit League’s regular-season title.

Under the leadership of fourth-year head coach Craig Smith, the Coyotes have gone 11-3 this season, including Sunday night's victory at San Jose. Junior guard Matt Mooney is South Dakota’s leading scorer, averaging 17.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. Junior forward Tyler Hagedorn is South Dakota's only other player currently averaging at least 10.0 points per game (14.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg in 14 games).

The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network Alex Faust handling the play-by-play and former UCLA coach Steve Lavin analyzing the action.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game on AM 570 with Josh Lewin and UCLA great Tracy Murray performing their usual roles.

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