Sunday, 28 January 2018 15:09

Bruins Knock Off Stanford

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Welsh T SU012718UCLA (15-7, 6-4) came out blazing hot from beyond the three and though Stanford (11-11, 5-4) were able overcome that onslaught, the Bruins held the lead for 33:02 minutes of the game and dominated the contest winning going away, 89-73.

The Bruins played the kind of basketball they do when they are successful and they play this way they have the chance to win against anyone. UCLA shared the basketball, four players scored in double-figures.

Jaylen Hands had nine points, just missing the plateau that would have given the Bruins five players who score 10 or more, but Hands did have a career-high 10 assists, including a crowd-pleasing assist in the second-half that brought the fans out of their seats with a strike to Kris Wilkes for an easy deuce. Plus, Hands only had one turnover.

Aaron Holiday once again led the Bruins in scoring with 21. Wilkes added 18 points, Prince Ali scored chipped in 16 and Welsh logged his 13th double-double of the season scoring 13 points and coming down with 10 boards.

The icing on the cake for the Bruins was the complete turnaround from the charity stripe. During the first game against the Cardinal poor foul shooting was partly to blame for the loss. UCLA was outstanding from the line hitting 92 percent for their foul shots.

“I’m really proud of the guys tonight,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “Thought our offense was really good with good ball movement. We played a team tonight that really prides themselves on getting to the line and we kept them off the line.

“We lost game one against them because we couldn’t make foul shots and today we were 23 for 25 so that was really good. We won the rebounding war and we haven’t done that in a while.

“This was a good game for us with 19 assists coming off a game against Cal where we had a lot of assists. A lot of guys played well which is good.

“We need a bye week as we and USC are the last teams to get a bye week so it’s a good time for us. We’ve had a tough week especially after coming off three losses.

“I thought our guys responded well and now we’ve got a big week of preparation before a big game against a really good team here on Saturday.”

It is imperative that the Bruins continue to play with the kind of passion and team play they have in this homeland, if they do, good things can be in the offing.

“They were having fun,” Alford said. “We try to tell them that when you get stops, it’s fun because then we can get out and run and we are a very good transition team.

“Our defense had so much slippage in those three games that we weren’t running because we were taking the ball out all the time. When you take the ball out the other guy gets to set his defense.

“I thought we got some really good looks and we defended well. All weekend we did a really good job defensively and now we are going to have a big-time test next Saturday because they (USC) are a really good offensive team.”

UCLA will welcome its USC next Saturday, Feb. 3. The last of a three-game homestand. Tipoff is scheduled at 3:00 PM PST at Pauley Pavilion. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN2.

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