Sunday, February 18, 2018

UCLA pulls out win in OT, beats Ducks 86-78. Bruins are now 19-8, 10-5.

No full game video yet. I'll add it later if and when one is posted online.


LOS ANGELES – Aaron Holiday scored a game-leading 29 points and Thomas Welsh registered 14 points and 14 rebounds as UCLA edged Oregon in overtime, 86-78, before 13,001 on Saturday night in Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins (19-8, 10-5) extended their "Senior Night" just a little bit with the overtime session, rallying from a 66-62 deficit in the game's final four minutes to force extra time in the team's final regular-season home game.

Welsh, one of four UCLA seniors, logged his 16th double-double of the season with his 14-point, 14-rebound effort. Kris Wilkeshad 19 points, nailing a career-high five three-pointers in the win against Oregon (17-10, 7-7).

Holiday picked up his fourth foul with 11:45 to play and was forced to head to the bench until the 6:53 mark. When he returned to the game late in the second half, UCLA led the Ducks, 62-61.

Oregon's Payton Pritchard, who finished with a team-leading 23 points, nailed a three-pointer before a steal by Troy Brown led to a dunk from Mikyle McIntosh, spotting the Ducks a 66-62 lead.

UCLA shored up its defense and went on a 7-1 scoring run to regain the advantage, 69-67, after a floater from Holiday, a jump shot by Welsh and a deep three-pointer from Jaylen Hands at the 2:07 mark.

"Different teams make different runs," said Steve Alford, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men's Head Basketball Coach. "I just thought we handled it. We had major foul trouble and played the first half without Aaron and then built an 11-point lead but had to take him out with four fouls with about 11 minutes to go. He did a tremendous job playing the last seven minutes with four fouls. He's just a special player. He makes play after play."

Oregon tied the game twice in the final 90 seconds of the second half – at 69-69 (1:39) and at 71-71 (0:49). Oregon had the final possession with 5.8 seconds left in regulation, and Elijah Brown missed a three-point attempt.

UCLA surged ahead in the extra session, 81-73, before the visiting Ducks trimmed their deficit to just three points – 81-78 – with 1:37 remaining. The Bruins led Oregon, 74-73, with 3:34 to play before Holiday hit a jump shot at the 3:08 mark and converted the ensuing free throw on the old-fashioned three-point play.

After a free throw by Gyorgy Goloman, Welsh nailed a three-pointer to put UCLA ahead, 81-73.

Consecutive baskets from Oregon cut UCLA's cushion to 81-78. From that point, the Ducks could not get any closer. Wilkes went to the free throw line with 42 seconds left and made both shots. After a missed three-point attempt by Troy Brown, Holiday found his way to the free throw line and made one of two attempts to put UCLA ahead, 84-78.

Oregon missed their final three shot attempts – all from three-point distance – as UCLA held on for the 86-78 overtime victory.

Both teams were shooting very well from three-point range in the first half. UCLA made 9 of 18 threes before halftime, while Oregon made 7 of 13. Ali's three-pointer with 9:59 to play in the opening half put the Bruins on top, 23-20, as part of an 11-2 scoring run that pushed UCLA ahead by a 28-22 margin at the 7-minute mark.

Oregon rallied to tie the score, 31-31, before the Bruins closed the first half with a 9-4 scoring run to lead, 40-35, at the intermission.

Welsh's 16 double-doubles this season are the most in any season by a UCLA player since Kevin Love had 23 double-doubles during his freshman year in 2007-08.

Love was on hand at the game Saturday night, taking a tour of the school's Mo Ostin Basketball Center prior to the game (which has the Kevin Love Athletic Performance Center located on the building's second story).

Welsh and Goloman, along with Ikenna Okwarabizie and Alec Wulff, were recognized on the court prior to Saturday night's game for their collegiate careers and service to the men's basketball program. All four young men will graduate this year with their undergraduate degrees.

UCLA, which has won six of its last seven games, will return to action at Utah on Thursday, Feb. 22. Game time in Salt Lake City is slated for 6 p.m. PT (7 p.m. MT).
Following the road game at Utah, UCLA will play at Colorado on Sunday, Feb. 25.

The Box

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