Friday, 09 March 2018 15:26

UCLA Moves Onto Semifinal

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holiday a SU030818UCLA (21-10) leaned on their dynamic duo of Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsh to beat Stanford (18-15) in another hard-fought game, 88-77, for a semifinal rematch with arch-foe Arizona (25-7).

Holiday led all scorers tying his career-high, with a game-high, 34 points. He also had a game-high eight assists while playing the entire 40 minutes of the contest.

Welsh notched his 17th double-double of the season scoring 18 points and coming down with 11 boards.

“Just really proud of our team,” Steve Alford, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach said. “Super happy for the two guys next to me [Aaron Holiday, Thomas Welsh], because of a lot of pressure on these two.

“They've [Holiday and Welsh] been tremendous with leadership all year long. They had a lot of pressure on them today because we had about five guys going through this for the first time as far as the Pac-12 Tournament goes, having minutes on the floor. Really only got – GG [Goloman] obviously is the third, but these two are the major-minute guys that we've had in a Pac12 Tournament, so they really responded.

“That's what your main guys have got to do, and both those guys responded in a huge way. Aaron, across the board, in everything that he did today, was spectacular. Couldn't be happier for Tom. A thousand rebounds, a thousand points in your career at UCLA, that's special. So very fortunate and very blessed that I get an opportunity to coach two very special players like these two.”

Perhaps the UCLA’s key to victory against the Cardinal was they took care of the basketball. The Bruins tallied 14 assists against only seven turnovers. UCLA will have to do more of the same against Arizona, a team that thrives on scoring easy buckets due to turnovers.

UCLA won the first contest against Arizona, last month in Tucson, 82-74. In that game, the Bruins played with intensity and energy from the opening tip to the final whistle.

Five Bruin players scored in double-figures against the Wildcats last month and as a team, they shot 51.6 percent from the field. Holiday 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.

Tipoff for the UCLA-Arizona semifinal game at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., is scheduled for 6:00 PM PST and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

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