Sunday, 14 January 2018 16:10

Buffalos Stampede Bruins, 68-59

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Welsh T CU 011318UCLA (13-5, 4-2) picked a bad night to come out flat offensively because a motivated Colorado (11-7, 3-3) team came to play, and led from the opening bucket to the buzzer ending the game, defeating the Bruins, 68-59.

“That’s probably as disappointing as we’ve played all year,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “Our effort was poor, we were flat. I give Colorado an awful lot of credit that really played hard and executed better.

“Outside of Tom [Welsh] we really just didn’t have much as far as a good concentrated effort. I take responsibility for that. It’s our job as coaches to make sure we are ready to play. And it’s not just that we weren’t ready to play, we had low energy and low effort. That’s hard to watch.

“That was the worst offensively we’ve been all year and again I give Colorado a lot of credit for what they were able to do defensively.”

The Buffalos played with intensity on defense and harassed Bruin point guard Aaron Holiday all night and never really allowed Holiday get into any offensive rhythm and thus UCLA struggled on offense. Case in point, UCLA’s 59 points was their lowest they have scored in a game all season.

“We were 8 of 18 from the line and 5 of 25 from three at home and only scored 59 points,” Alford said. “We weren’t perfect defensively tonight but in the second half, we were really good. Held them to 29 points and 36 percent shooting, we just couldn’t score.

“We got down and missed free throws, they made a layup then we missed one. They hit a wide-open three then we missed a three. There just wasn’t much going for us offensively and once again you have to give Colorado credit.”

The Buffalo defense held the Bruins to shoot 37.1 percent from the floor, 20 percent from beyond the arc and UCLA shot a putrid 44.4 percent from the line.

Thomas Welsh led the Bruins in scoring with 20 while Aaron Holiday and Kris Wilkes contributed 10 points each.

CU received a royal effort from senior guard George King, who had a game-high 26 points and was blistering hot from beyond the three-point arc hitting 6-10 from the three. King also had a game-high 10 boards to earn a double-double.

What makes this loss so perplexing is the Bruins were on a roll and were playing their best basketball of the season. To come out with the type performance UCLA displayed against Colorado is mind-numbing. Alford searches for an explanation.

“We have a lot of young guys going through this for the first time so maybe it’s understanding success,” Alford said. “One of the things we told them was, try to understand, why we did play so well against Utah.

“We had great energy, great effort, good togetherness and fought. We didn’t have any of that tonight. When you don’t do that in league play you’re going to get beat. I thought we were really out of sync offensively probably the entire night.”

The Bruins will be hitting the road and will next play Oregon State (10-7, 2-3) Thursday Evening (Jan.18) in Corvallis. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 PM PST and will be televised nationally on Fox Sports 1.

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