Friday, 09 February 2018 14:05

Bruins Upset Wildcats In the Desert

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Holiday A UA020918UCLA (17-7, 8-4) started out the game with great energy and if there were any intimidation factor playing in a tough venue against a tough team the Bruins didn’t show any fear and handed No. 13 Arizona (19-6, 9-3) a loss in convincing fashion, 82-74.

There were many heroes on the Bruins, five players scored in double-figures and as a team, they shot 51.6 percent from the field. UCLA played the type of basketball they do when they win and win they did.

“Really proud of our guys because they battled and competed,” UCLA coach Steve Alford said. “That’s the thing – I thought we took our competitiveness to another level. That was great to see. We had great contributions from everyone.

“I wasn’t able to get Chris Smith back into the game in the second half because I thought we had such good flow that I just went with it. I have to get him back in the flow on Saturday because we are going to need him.

“I thought we made them do a lot of different things. They had to go with a four-guard lineup, they had to zone us a little bit and that’s a credit to what our guys were doing.

“To come in here and basically be even on the glass with only 10 turnovers – I thought we were efficient offensively and that we really guarded. We made it very difficult for them for most of the game and this is a very potent offense we were playing. Anytime you can win down here you know you played well and I think we really played well.”

Aaron Holiday once again led the Bruins in scoring with 17 points and eight assists. GG Golomon had a career-high 16 points, including three, three-pointers, one was a soul crusher late in the game to essentially put the game on ice. Kris Wilkes was solid scoring 14 points. Thomas Welsh accounted for another double-double scoring 11 points and came down with 12 boards. Jaylen Hands scored 11 points, including three straight three-pointers at the end of the first-half that changed a back tight, back and forth affair into a 10 point UCLA lead at the half.

“This is huge,” Alford said. “We’ve won four in a row and obviously this is a huge road win. This is a huge road win around the country to get a win in here. This is a top-20 team, they have been top 10. This is huge for us.

“Now we get a one-day break and then have to play another really good team on Saturday on the road. You don’t get a lot of time to celebrate this but we will at least have a very good bus ride tonight to Phoenix because the guys deserve it.”

Now the Bruins head to Tempe to play ASU in the last game of this crucial road trip. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM PST and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network and UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game locally on AM 1150.

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