Saturday, November 18, 2017

UCLA Races Past South Carolina State, 96-68


LOS ANGELES – Jaylen Hands scored a team-leading 22 points and Thomas Welsh recorded his second straight double-double as No. 18 UCLA downed South Carolina State, 96-68, before in Pauley Pavilion on Friday night.

Hands, a 6-foot-4 freshman from San Diego, dropped 20 of his 22 points in the second half, helping the Bruins pull away from the visiting Bulldogs midway through the second half. Hands' second-half outburst mirrored the Bruins, as UCLA outscored South Carolina State by a 55-33 margin after halftime.

Welsh finished with 13 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, one shy of tying his career high in rebounds (16). Freshman Chris Smith provided a spark off the bench, scoring 15 points and dishing three assists, while freshman Kris Wilkes totaled 14 points and six rebounds.

Alex Olesinski, a 6-foot-10 sophomore forward who redshirted last season, had a productive 22-minute performance by scoring eight points and grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds.

"I thought both Chris Smith and Alex Olesinski were outstanding all week," head coach Steve Alford said. "Not good, but outstanding on both ends. I thought Chris, defensively, was better tonight than he was a couple of nights ago. Alex has been solid in both of those games, which is great to see."

Postgame Press Conferences: Coach Alford | UCLA's Student-Athletes (Smith, Hands, Olesinski)

Donte Wright led South Carolina State off the bench with a game-high 23 points, converting six of 11 attempts from beyond the arc. The Bruins were able to find their own stroke from distance, drilling 10 of 27 three-point attempts as a team.
The Bruins outrebounded the Bulldogs by a 51-30 margin and logged eight blocks – two apiece from Welsh and Olesinski.
UCLA (3-0) led throughout the second half after leading, 41-35, at the break. The Bruins used a 12-0 run – that began with 10:05 left in regulation – to help put the game out of reach. A layup from Smith and a pair of free throws from G.G. Goloman put the Bruins ahead, 67-57, with 8:15 left. From there, UCLA scored the game's next 10 points to secure a 20-point cushion – 77-57 with 6:25 to go.

Through the final seven minutes of the contest, Hands scored 13 points, connecting on each of his final five field goal attempts.
Next up for the Bruins is a trip to Kansas City, Mo., where UCLA will take on Creighton (3-0) on Monday evening in the Hall of Fame Classic at the Sprint Center. Game time is 4 p.m. (PT)/6 p.m. (CT). The Bruins' game against Creighton will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
UCLA will face either Baylor or Wisconsin at the Sprint Center on Tuesday evening. That game will take place at either 4:30 p.m. (PT)/6:30 p.m. (CT) or 7 p.m. (PT)/9 p.m. (CT).

The Box

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