Thursday, 22 February 2018 15:21

Bruins Ready To Take On Utes

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Holiday A USC020416When UCLA (19-8, 10-5) and Utah (17-9, 9-6) tipoff at approximately 6:05 PM PST, it will be a contest against two of the hottest teams in the Pac-12 Conference.

The Utes have won four straight games including their second sweep on the road against to the two Washington schools. Utah’s sweep was their second on the road this season and the Utes are the only Pac-12 team to accomplish this feat.

The Bruins have won six out of seven. UCLA’s only loss during that span was to Arizona State on the road after the huge win against Pac-12 front-runner, Arizona.

To set up this all-important road trip the Bruins swept the two Oregon schools and closed the homestand with a thrilling overtime victory over the Ducks. UCLA almost let that game slip away letting the Ducks back in a game after having a commanding lead.

If the Oregon game said anything about the Bruins, is they are a different team when Aaron Holiday is on the bench. UCLA fell apart when the star junior point guard was forced to the bench due to foul trouble. It was during that time the Ducks were able to get back into the game.

Holiday and Thomas Welsh led the way for the Bruins. Holiday led all scorers with 29 points. Welsh recorded his 16th double-double of the season scoring 14 points, including a huge three-pointer, which would ultimately be his last made shot on Pauley Pavilion as a Bruin. Welsh also had 14 boards. Kris Wilkes went for 19 points and Prince Ali was solid off the bench adding 11 to help the Bruins get the win.

When the Bruins and the Utes last met, the Bruins played one of their best games of the season, especially in the second-half. Holiday led the Bruins scoring 20 points, Wilkes added 19 points and Ali chipped in with 13 points and nine rebounds.

The key for the Bruins - they shot 52 percent (12-of-23) from 3-point range defeating Utah 83-64. UCLA led at halftime, 41-33, and never saw its cushion fall to any fewer than eight points in the second half.

The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with Dave Pasch handling the play-by-play and his partner will be UCLA all-time great, Bill Walton who will analyze the action.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game locally on AM 1150 Radio with Josh Lewin and another Bruin great UCLA Tracy Murray performing their usual duties.

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