Sunday, 31 December 2017 16:05

Bruins To Host Huskies

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Welsh T USC030917UCLA (10-3, 1-0) wants to bring the New Year in right, but to do so they must beat visiting Washington (11-3, 1-0), both the Bruins and the Huskies are coming off conference wins.

The Bruins had a solid victory over Washington State, 96-82, while the Huskies beat USC at the Galen Center for a rare Pac-12 Conference road win, 88-81.

UCLA’s win was led by a spectacular performance by junior point-guard, Aaron Holiday, who had a career-best in points with 33 and rebounds with 11 while registering his first double-double of the season. On the night, Holiday joined the exclusive UCLA 1,000 career point club.

Thomas Welsh also joined the career 1,000 point club and notched another double-double on his resume, his ninth this season, scoring 12 points and coming down with a game-high 14 boards against the Cougars.

Jaylen Hands scored 19 points and had four assists off the bench while Kris Wilkes added 14 points and five rebounds in the victory.

The Huskies had five players score in double-figures against the Trojans while shooting 67.3 percent from the field (37-of-55), it’s the second time UDub has shot over 62 percent from the field this season (62.7 percent vs. BCU) and the second time in the last three games.

It is obvious that the Huskies are coming into Pauley on a roll. Washington had success pounding the paint against USC, over half UW’s 88 points, 52 to be exact, came from inside the key.

The Huskies have four players who are averaging in double-figures. Freshman guard, Jaylen Nowell (6-4, 200) leads the team in scoring averaging 16.9 points per game (ppg).

Junior forward, Noah Dickerson (6-8, 245) is next chipping in 15.5 points per game and leads the team in rebounding averaging 7.9 boards a game. Junior guard, David Crisp (6-0, 195) adds 12.2 ppg.

Junior guard, Matisse Thybulle (6-5, 195) is a force to be reckoned with. He averages 11.1 points per game, and he’s a defensive stopper, too.

Thybulle is the only player this season to have season highs of 19 points, seven steals, five blocks, seven assists, six rebounds and five made threes. The last a Pac-12 player accomplished that feat was during the 1996-97 season. Thybulle currently has 77 career blocks, which is seven shy of cracking UDub’s top five all-time career blocks list.

Washington is coached by Mike Hopkins, who is in his first-year on the job. The Huskies gave Hopkins his first opportunity as a head coach and so far they have been pleased with the results turning the program around thus far this season.

Hopkins spent the last 22 years as an assistant coach at Syracuse where he was part of a program that reached the NCAA Tournament, 16 times, including winning a National Championship in 2003.

Tipoff is scheduled for 5:06 PM PST and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network with Jim Watson handling the play-by-play and UCLA all-time great Don MacLean analyzing the action.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game on AM 1150 with Josh Lewin and another UCLA all-time great Tracy Murray in their usual chairs.

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