Thursday, November 26, 2015

UCLA can't bump Wake Forest, loses 80-77 to settle for 4th place trinket at Lahaina

Tony Parker totaled 18 points and 15 rebounds in UCLA's 80-77 loss (photo by Al Sermeno)
UCLA Athletics

UCLA Edged by Wake Forest, 80-77
By: UCLA Athletics
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Tony Parker totaled 18 points and 15 rebounds as UCLA dropped an 80-77 decision to Wake Forest in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational’s third-place game on Wednesday.
Isaac Hamilton registered 18 points, while Bryce Alford scored 14 and Thomas Welsh finished with 10 for the Bruins (3-3).
Wake Forest (4-2) trailed by as many as five points in the first half, but secured a 42-35 lead at the break and never trailed in the second half.
Devin Thomas totaled a game-high 21 points and added nine rebounds for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons also received 16 points from Cornelius Hudson, 15 from Mitchell Wilbekin and 14 from Dinos Mitoglou.
Playing their third game in as many days, the Bruins saw Wake Forest push its lead to as many as 10 points late in the first half and again to nine points early in the second half. UCLA trailed 56-48 with 13:08 remaining and cut Wake Forest’s cushion to one point – 58-57 – with 10:04 to play.
From there, the Bruins trailed by as many as seven points with 6:54 remaining and cut Wake Forest's advantage back to one – 70-69 – on a jump shot from Thomas Welsh at the 4:32 mark.
Wake Forest had a one-minute stretch in the closing minutes where the team nailed 9 of 11 free throws to take control of the game in the final 20 seconds.
In all, Wake Forest made 30 of 42 free throws, converting at a 71.4 percent clip. UCLA out-rebounded the Demon Deacons by a 45-37 margin and made 8 of 14 free throws (57.1 percent).
UCLA will return to action against CSUN (2-4) in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, Nov. 29. Game time is 4 p.m. The Bruins’ game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.
Game Notes: Isaac Hamilton averaged a team-leading 14.7 points in three games in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, making 19 of 31 shots (61.3 percent) … Tony Parker has averaged a team-leading 12.3 rebounds per game in six regular-season contests and recorded his fourth double-double this season … in the three-day Maui Invitational, Parker logged 11.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Zee Box

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Soooo, that's what a good basketball team looks like. UCLA couldn't hang with Kansas, gets luaued in Lahaina, 92-73.

Isaac Hamilton and Tony Parker guard Kansas' Frank Mason III (photo by Al Sermeno)
UCLA Athletics

UCLA Falls to No. 5 Kansas, 92-73
By: UCLA Athletics
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Isaac Hamilton scored a team-leading 19 points as UCLA dropped a 92-73 decision to No. 5 Kansas in a semifinal game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Tuesday night.
The loss sends UCLA (3-2) into Wednesday afternoon’s third-place game, where the Bruins will take on Wake Forest (3-2) at 4:30 pm PT (2:30 pm HT) at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Against Kansas (3-1) on Tuesday, the Jayhawks had the upper hand on the Bruins from the start. Kansas raced to a 6-0 lead in the opening minute before UCLA reduced the margin to 8-7. The Jayhawks countered with a 16-2 scoring run to extend their margin to 26-9 with 11:48 left in the first half.
UCLA trailed at halftime, 59-33, and reduced its deficit to as few as 19 points before the final buzzer sounded.
"We haven't started either opening half well at all since we've been here," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "I didn’t think that we started the game well against UNLV, and we didn't start the game well tonight."
Perry Ellis led a group of four Kansas players in double figures, scoring a game-high 24 points and adding six rebounds. Frank Mason III scored 16 points, Wayne Selden Jr. added 15 and Svi Mykhailiuk finished with 13.
UCLA’s Aaron Holiday totaled 16 points while Tony Parker registered 15 points and a team-best eight rebounds.
Kansas shot nearly 58 percent in the first half, registering 15 assists on 19 field goals and committing just three turnovers. Overall, the Jayhawks shot 54 percent, connecting on 10 of 23 three-point field goal attempts (44 percent).
Bruins’ guard Prince Ali finished with eight points in 15 minutes off the bench.
UCLA’s game versus Wake Forest on Wednesday will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
Zee Box

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

UCLA Defeats UNLV in Lahaina, 77-75

Bryce Alford scored 20 points for UCLA on Monday (photo by Scott Clarke).
UCLA Athletics
By: UCLA Athletics link
LAHAINA, Hawaii - Bryce Alford and Thomas Welsh each totaled 20 points to lead UCLA past UNLV, 77-75, in the Bruins’ opening game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational on Monday night.
Welsh made 9 of 12 shots from the field and grabbed a team-leading eight rebounds.
In a game that featured five lead changes, Isaac Hamilton helped UCLA (3-1) secure the lead for good with a 3-point field goal that gave the Bruins a 67-65 cushion with 3:23 to play.
After consecutive missed 3-pointers from UNLV (3-1), Aaron Holiday nailed a pair of free throws with 1:30 to play and another two free throws at the 0:57 mark, putting UCLA ahead of the Runnin’ Rebels, 71-65.
Holiday finished with 18 points, making 4 of 8 shots from the field and all eight free throw attempts.
”I’m really proud of my basketball team,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “I just felt they fought. This was a really good, big, athletic team that we were playing in UNLV, and I thought both teams came in playing pretty good basketball. I’m proud of my guys because we took a pretty good punch to start the game.”
The Bruins overcame an early 16-7 deficit, using a 14-4 scoring run over a 6:24 span to lead, 21-20. From there, UCLA pushed its first-half lead to as many as nine points and secured a 41-35 cushion.
In the second half, UNLV closed the gap with less than 10 minutes to play and secured a 62-58 lead on Patrick McCaw’s 3-pointer with 8:29 to play.
Alford made two free throws with 7:43 remaining, shrinking UNLV’s advantage to 62-60 before Tony Parker’s tied the contest, 62-62, at the 7:12 mark.
The Runnin’ Rebels took a 65-64 advantage with 6:02 to play, and neither team scored over the game’s next 2:25. UCLA broke the scoreless span with Hamilton’s 3-pointer at the 3:23 mark.
The Bruins will return to action against No. 5 Kansas on Tuesday in a semifinal matchup of the Maui Invitational. UCLA will play the final game of the day, with game time slated for 7 p.m. PT (5 p.m. HT). UCLA’s game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Game Notes: UCLA shot 45 percent from the field and nailed 23 of 24 free throws (95.8 percent) … the Bruins improved their record against UNLV to 5-0 in the all-time series … neither team had played each other since Dec. 1998 … UCLA last faced Kansas in the 2011 Maui Invitational, with Kansas earning a 75-56 win (Nov. 22, 2011) … Thomas Welsh netted at least 20 points for the second time in his career (he had a career-high 22 points on Nov. 15, 2015 against Cal Poly) … Bryce Alford scored at least 20 points for the 12th time in his career … UCLA secured the victory on head coach Steve Alford’s birthday.

The Box

Bruins Prepared for Maui Invitational

Steve Alford spoke to reporters at Sunday morning's press conference in Maui.
UCLA Athletics
By: UCLA Athletics link
LAHAINA, Hawaii – UCLA head coach Steve Alford met with the media at a pre-tournament press conference Sunday morning, one day before the three-day Maui Jim Maui Invitational tips off at the Lahaina Civic Center.
Alford, who is making his second trip to the Maui Invitational as a head coach, spoke about the team’s growth early in the season and what he expects when UCLA opens its tournament schedule Monday evening against UNLV.
“When you’re invited to a tournament like this, you know that it’s an elite tournament that is going to have elite teams,” Alford said. “You’re striving to be one of those teams. Now, you may not be that in November. We weren’t that in November last year, but you want to have an idea of what you need to work on to become an elite team.”
The Bruins (2-1) will take on UNLV (3-0) on Monday at 8:30 pm PT (6:30 pm HT) in a matchup that will be nationally televised on ESPN2. UCLA has compiled a 4-0 all-time record against UNLV, but the two schools have not faced each other since 1998.
UNLV enters the Maui Jim Maui Invitational having recorded consecutive wins over Cal Poly, New Mexico Highlands and Southern Utah to open the year. Sophomore guard Patrick McCaw has averaged a team-leading 16.7 points per game, while freshman center Stephen Zimmerman has logged a team-best 9.7 rebounds per game (along with 12.7 points per game, third best on the team).
“They’re a different team from last year with multiple new starters,” Alford said. “They have Ben Carter, a very talented transfer from Oregon and then Zimmerman who heads a very good recruiting class. [Jerome] Seagers had to sit out last year, but he is now doing a very good job for them. He takes care of the ball and he makes good decisions. They are such an athletic team. They bring a lot of athleticism off the bench, where if things don’t go well, they’ve got the athletic ability to make things happen at both ends of the floor. It’s a great mix.”
UCLA will face either No. 4 Kansas or Chaminade on Tuesday. The winner of the UCLA-UNLV matchup will take on the winner of the Kansas-Chaminade game on Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT (5 p.m. HT). That contest will be nationally televised on ESPN. The losing teams will compete Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. PT (11:30 a.m. HT).
Opposite the Bruins’ side of the bracket are Vanderbilt, St. John’s, Wake Forest and Indiana.
This marks the fifth appearance for UCLA in the Maui Invitational. The Bruins won the tournament in the fall of 2006 and also appeared in Maui in the fall of 1995, 2001 and 2011. For this year’s UCLA squad, the upcoming three games in as many days will provide a measuring stick as the team progresses deeper into its non-conference schedule.
“It can take a while to get to know your team and for your team to get to know you,” Alford said. “I think that’s why we are still a work in progress. Now, we have to play three very difficult games in three days. We will leave this island knowing exactly what we need to work on and the things that we need to tidy up as we move into our December schedule. This is a great tournament. We are nowhere near a finished product, but in our last two games we have taken positive steps in the right direction.”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Coach Steve Alford interview, post-Pepperdine

from UCLA Bruins MBB (link)

Aaron Holiday interview, post-Pepperdine win

from UCLA Bruins MBB (link)

UCLA Takes Down Pepperdine, 81-67

Article Link

LOS ANGELES - Tony Parker recorded his third double-double in as many games, totaling 15 points and 15 rebounds, as UCLA defeated Pepperdine, 81-67, in Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night.
Parker, who has averaged 16.7 points and 16.0 rebounds in UCLA’s first three games, had 11 points and eight boards by halftime.
The Bruins (2-1) received a team-best 19 points from Bryce Alford and 16 from Aaron Holiday. Prince Ali scored 12 points off the bench, and Isaac Hamilton finished with 10 points.
“This was the best game we had to date on contesting shots, forcing teams into some difficult shots, and I thought that was a big key,” UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. “I thought the job Tony [Parker] and Jonah [Bolden] did on [Stacy] Davis was an incredible key for us. Tony proved that he could guard and still get 15 and 15. It was a big game for him.”
UCLA extended its winning streak against Pepperdine (1-2) to five games, securing a 48-34 advantage by halftime. The Bruins led by as many as 18 points three times in the first half and pushed their margin to 20 points with 14:47 to play in the game.
With UCLA ahead of Pepperdine, 64-44, at the 13:34 mark in the second half, the Waves used an 8-0 scoring run to reduce the Bruins’ cushion to 12 points (66-54) on a jump shot by Atif Russell. Ali helped the Bruins respond, getting to the free throw line twice in a one-minute span and knocking down all four free throws. Ali, a 6-foot-3 freshman guard, made all seven of his free throw attempts.
UCLA’s second-half lead never fell to fewer than 12 points.
Lamond Murray Jr. netted a game-leading 22 points for Pepperdine (1-2). Kameron Edwards had 10 points for the visiting Waves, who were facing UCLA for the first time since Nov. 28, 2011.
The Bruins shot 50 percent overall from the field and made 6 of 17 three-point field goal attempts (35.3 percent). For the third consecutive game, UCLA out-rebounded its opposition. The Bruins won the battle on the boards by a 45-34 margin.
UCLA will return to action next week in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, played at the Lahaina Civic Center in Lahaina, Hawaii. The Bruins open against UNLV (3-0) on Monday, Nov. 23. Game time is 8:30 p.m. (PT). The non-conference game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
UCLA, which last played in the Maui Invitational in 2011, won the tournament in 2006.

The Box