Saturday, 03 March 2018 16:51

Bruins To Take On Trojans

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Holiday A USC030916A season that has had its share of highs and some lows for UCLA (19-10, 10-7) is approaching its regular season end. It is fitting that the Bruins take on USC (21-9, 12-5) with much at stake. The Bruins must win and have a strong showing in the Pac-12 tournament if they are to have any chance at making the tournament.

Winning could be a tall order for the inconsistent Bruins. UCLA is currently on a two-game losing streak while the Trojans currently hold a four-game winning streak including a sweep over the mountain schools [Utah and CU], the same two schools that swept the Bruins.

The Trojans have a solid grip on second-place in conference, and that assures them of a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The Bruins are currently tied for third-place with Washington, Utah, and Stanford. Two out of the above four schools will also earn a bye.

For the Bruins, it is a must win and it won’t be easy. It is going to be senior night for the Trojans. USC will be honoring their outstanding point guard, Jordan McLaughlin, sharpshooter Elijah Stewart, and Kurt Karis.

The last time these two teams played on Feb. 3, it was a very emotional, back and forth contest. The lead changed hands, 18 times.

The Trojans led in the game for 25:56. It was tied for 5:13 and the Bruins for only 8:51, but UCLA led when it counted most 82-79 when the clock clicked its last second. USC saw their six-game winning streak come to a heartbreaking end.

The Bruins will need their outstanding point guard Aaron Holiday to come up with the same type of effort he did the last time the two teams met. Holiday played the entire 40 minutes while garnering game highs for points (23) and assists (nine).

Thomas Welsh was also key in the Bruin victory, scoring 21 points including a huge three in the decisive closing minutes and hitting two clutch free throws to give the Bruins some breathing room in the waning moments of the game.

Kris Wilkes also hit some big threes and scored 13 points, but you don’t win a game like this one on offense alone. The Bruins came up big defensively when they needed it most.

Tipoff at Galen Center is scheduled for 7:20 PM PST and will be televised by ESPN with Dave Pasch doing the play-by-play and Bruin great Bill Walton analyzing the action.

UCLA Sports Network from IMG will broadcast the game locally on AM 570 with Josh Lewin handling the play-by-play and another all-time UCLA great Tracy Murray in the analyst chair.

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