Friday, 23 February 2018 15:24

UCLA Loses To Utah

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Holiday A UU022218Utah (18-9, 10-6) extended their winning streak to five games by beating UCLA (19-9, 10-6) in a hard-fought, 84-78 victory. The Utes were able to hold on denying a heroic Bruin comeback in the second-half.

While trading by 14 points the Bruins were able to make things as close as one point, but a huge three by Utah guard Parker Van Dyke pushed the Utes up by four and the Bruins couldn’t quite climb the mountain.

When the Bruins lose close ones it is always the same things that add to their demise. Not hitting free throws, key turnovers and lapses on defense are usually culprits in a Bruin defeat.

UCLA had a long lapse in the first-half and the beginning of the second-half that led to that 14-point deficit that led ultimately to the Bruin defeat.

“We just didn’t defend in the first half, like we’ve got to defend,” Steve Alford said. “I thought that we were better defensively in the second half. Offensively, I liked how we attacked their zone. I thought that we got some good looks and did a good job in a lot of different areas. We just had a stretch there in the first half where we were not very good, defensively.

“Not very good during that stretch. That’s a stretch in the game where I didn’t like anything about our defense. We have to got to figure out why, and we’ve talked about it. We have talked about it, very consistently throughout the year, that 30 to 32 minutes, we have the ability to defend at a high level. But it’s those eight minutes that always get us. It got us again. It got us at Arizona State, and then it got us again today.”

The Utes had excellent ball movement and offensive flow. Utah had four players that scored in double-figures. Led by David Collette, who was a perfect 9-9 from the floor and scored a team-high 21 points. Van Dyke scored 18 points, Justin Bibbins notched a double-double scoring 17 points and adding 10 assists. Tyler Rawson contributed 12 points.

UCLA had three players score in double-figures, led by Aaron Holiday’s game-high 23 points. Thomas Welsh scored 15 points and GG Golomon chipped in 10.

The Bruins have two games left on their slate for this season. Next up will be Colorado in Boulder. Tipoff is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 25, at 1:00 PM PST. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

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