Monday, January 1, 2018

UCLA's Second-Half Blitz Defeats Washington, 74-53


LOS ANGELES – UCLA turned an eight-point halftime deficit into a 21-point victory, defeating Washington, 74-53, in a Pac-12 Conference game on Sunday evening.

The Bruins (11-3, 2-0 Pac-12) closed the game on a 26-1 scoring run and did not allow a field goal by Washington (11-4, 1-1) during the final eight minutes of the contest.

Trailing 43-29 with 17 minutes to play, the Bruins outscored the visiting Huskies, 45-10, the rest of the way. 

UCLA limited Washington to just 17 percent shooting (6-for-35) in the second half, with the Huskies going 0-for-15 from three-point range after halftime. Overall, Washington made just two of 27 three-point attempts.

UCLA held an opponent to its lowest three-point shooting percentage (7.4%) since limiting Stanford to 0-for-13 from three-point range in a win on Jan. 5, 2013 in Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA outrebounded the Huskies, 43-38, en route to securing a 2-0 Pac-12 start for the first time since 2012-13.

"We really challenged the guys at halftime about having a little bit more effort," UCLA head coach Steve Alford said. "When you play a Pac-12 game and you finish on a 45-10 run – when you go on a run like that – your effort is on another level. We grew up tonight and did a lot of good things.

Freshman Kris Wilkes led all players with a career-best 21 points. The 6-foot-8 guard from Indianapolis, Ind., made 7 of 13 shots and grabbed five rebounds. Aaron Holiday added 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Prince Ali rounded out UCLA's list of double-figure scorers with a 12-point effort. 
Thomas Welsh tallied a game-high 12 rebounds and added seven points.

Washington's Noah Dickerson led the Huskies with 14 points and totaled seven rebounds.

The Huskies used a 13-3 scoring run to lead, 21-9, with 12 minutes left before halftime. Washington's zone defenses flummoxed the Bruins throughout the first half, allowing UW to build a 30-17 lead before the Bruins reduced their deficit to 36-28 by halftime.

The Bruins went on a 13-0 scoring run in the second half to slice Washington's cushion to just one point – 43-42 – with 12:47 remaining. UCLA took its first lead with 11 minutes to go on a fast-break layup by Alex Olesinski. Washington missed 14 consecutive field goal attempts before ending its scoring drought on a short jump shot by Matisse Thybulle, giving the Huskies a 45-44 advantage.

The lead continued to go back-and-forth midway through the second half, before Wilkes and Holiday helped key a 14-0 scoring run for UCLA that pushed the Bruins ahead, 62-52. UCLA held the Huskies scoreless for a five-plus minute stretch, allowing just one point (via free throw) over the final eight minutes.

Sunday's win helped UCLA extend its win streak to four games. In addition, the Bruins picked up their eight win against Washington in the last 10 meetings between the two Pac-12 programs.

UCLA returns to action at Stanford on Thursday, Jan. 4. Game time is 7 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. The Bruins' game at Stanford will be televised by FS1. Following the game at Stanford, UCLA will play at California on Saturday, Jan. 6. 

The Box

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