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Ebbing away from Misery — UCLA gets revenge on Stanford 89-73 with Award-Winning Shooting, including 52% from Distant Location and 92% from the line (23 straight Golden Globes after 2 Rotten Tomatoes), as Lead Actor Aaron Holiday (21 Points, 8 Assists) and Supporting Cast Kris Wilkes, Prince Ali, Jaylen Hands, and Thomas Welsh Direct the no longer SAG-ging Bruins to an Epic 16-Point Tour de Force with lots of Action but little Drama

Cut, print, moving on!  New Deal!  That’s a Wrap on a weekend sweep of the Bay Area schools for UCLA.  Following up a depressing tear-jerker of a three-game losing streak flop, the Bruins are back on track after beating Cal on Thursday and Stanford on Saturday.  UCLA avenged their earlier overtime loss to the Cardinal with tonight’s 89-73 slashing.

Led by Senior Team Leader Aaron Holiday (once again), the Bruins went on a 14-0 spurt in the first half, took a 13-Point lead into Halftime, and never looked back.  Stanford got the first bucket of the Second Half to cut the deficit to 11, but they never got closer.  Behind Holiday’s 21 Points and 8 Assists, the Bruins pulled away and cruised to victory.  The Bruins won for two main reasons:  They shot well, and they hustled.  The Bruins made 4 three-pointers in the first few minutes of the game, and ended up 10-19 for the game.  But even more impressive was their Free Throw shooting.  After Thomas Welsh missed two early, UCLA sank 23 straight.

In addition to this sharpshooting, the Bruins moved well (making the Cardinal players look like stationary billboards), and moved the ball well.  The Bruins tallied NINETEEN Assists, including a career-high TEN from Jaylen Hands, who is really flourishing now that he has been re-inserted into the starting line-up.  For the last two games, he has started instead of Gyorgy Goloman, as Steve Alford has opted for a 4-wings, 1 big lineup, and so far, it has worked.  Having 4 wings in has seemed to goose the Offensive flow and jump-start the rhythm needed for this attack to gel.

On Saturday night, all the starters came through, with Kris Wilkes scoring 18 with 5 Boards, 1 Block and 1 Steal.  Prince Ali added 16 Points, while Jaylen Hands scored 9 in addition to his 10 Dimes.  One of those dishes was a spectacular play where, on a fast break, he put the ball between his legs in the air before lofting an alley-oop to Wilkes for the lay-in.  Alford was about as happy with this showboating play as John Wooden would have been, despite having a double-digit lead in the middle of the Second Half, as the game was far from over.  He immediately let Hands know it.  Rounding out the starting lineup was Thomas Welsh, who delivered yet another Double-Double, with 13 and 10, plus 2 Blocks and 3 Steals.

In order to keep this winning streak alive, the Bruins will need to beat the Trojans next Saturday at Pauley.  To do that, they will need to fire on all five cylinders again.  Make that “at least” five.  SC has a loaded lineup, but has been a little inconsistent, so anything can happen in that game.  Chances are, if the Bruins can drain their shots with the efficiency they showed against the Cardinal, they will beat the Cardinal and Gold as well.  But if they rely on three’s and aren’t hot, they will get beat badly.  Like I said, anything can happen — especially in an emotionally-charged rivalry game.

Speaking of emotion, here are the last 51 UCLA Cheerleader photos from that Venice Event…

"BRUINS BURN DOWN TREE BILLBOARDS INSIDE WESTWOOD, CALIFORNIA" was published on January 28th, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos.

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