Monday, November 19

UCLA men’s basketball claims 86-78 overtime victory against Oregon


Aaron Holiday had to battle through foul trouble Saturday night, picking up his fourth personal foul midway through the second half. The junior guard still led his team in points. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff)

Aaron Holiday had to battle through foul trouble Saturday night, picking up his fourth personal foul midway through the second half. The junior guard still led his team in points. (Keila Mayberry/Daily Bruin staff)


This post was updated Feb. 17 at 10:50 p.m. 

All the former and current NBA players in Pauley Pavilion on Saturday night saw their own version of the 3-point shootout.

In front of Bill Walton, Kevin Love, TJ Leaf, Ike Anigbogu and Isaac Hamilton, UCLA (19-8, 10-5 Pac-12) went 16-of-33 from beyond the arc and held off Oregon (17-10, 7-7) 86-78 in overtime Saturday night.

“I thought our efficiency in the first half was tremendous. We make nine 3s in the first half and we shot 48 percent,” said coach Steve Alford. “Our guys make good shots. It’s when the ball doesn’t touch the paint, then it’s a bad shot. And I thought that happened a little bit in the second half.”

The Bruins only shot 39 percent from the field in the second half, compared to 48 percent in the first half.

The game turned when junior guard Aaron Holiday picked up his fourth foul on a charging call with 11 minutes and 45 seconds left in the game, prompting Alford to substitute Holiday for freshman guard Jaylen Hands.

Over the next eight minutes, the Ducks made a pivotal 18-3 run to extinguish the Bruins’ 11-point lead, forcing Holiday back into the game.

“It doesn’t make you a good coach to understand, ‘Keep Aaron Holiday in the game,’” Alford said. “Nobody’s meant more to their basketball team than what Holiday has meant to us. And it was again tonight, when he’s on the floor.”

Holiday led the Bruins with 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-9 from deep and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. The junior’s first nine shots were all from beyond the arc but he finished perfect on 2-point shots.

He and freshman guard Kris Wilkes combined for 48 points and made 10 3-pointers.

“I couldn’t hit 3s the last game or the game before, but I felt it tonight,” Wilkes said, who shot a combined 2-11 from long distance in the past two games. “I felt it when I was warming up and I’m glad it went down.”

Oregon had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, inbounding the ball at the baseline, but guard Elijah Brown missed a 3-pointer at the horn.

“I felt like toward the end of this stretch, when they got the ball out of bounds at the last second, we really toughed it out and that was for the seniors tonight,” Holiday said.

Senior center Thomas Welsh recorded a double-double in his final game in Westwood with 14 points and 14 rebounds, while senior forward GG Goloman scored 5 points and grabbed two rebounds.

It took longer than expected, but Welsh got the send-off he was waiting for.

“I was getting a little misty, not gonna lie, when I was walking up there with my parents,” Welsh said. “To be able to finish like that with a win – with my family all here – it really doesn’t get any better than that.”

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