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Bluish Holiday — Bruin star Aaron Holiday is the concierge of UCLA’s thrilling 86-78 overtime victory, sending the Quacks packing with 29 Points, 6 Assists, and 5 Rebounds, as he starts his probable permanent vacation from Pauley Pavilion

Aaron Holiday is only a Junior, but Senior Day at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday was most likely his last home game as a Bruin.  Seniors Thomas Welsh and Gyorgy Goloman won’t be back for sure, and Holiday is as good as gone.  He leads the Pac-12 in Scoring and 3-Point Shooting, and is one of the Assist leaders as well.  Qualifications like that usually lead to a high NBA Draft projection, and an early exit.  If this was Holiday’s last game in front of a Pauley crowd, he certainly made it one to remember.

Aaron hit FOUR early three-point shots, as the Bruins were on fire from outside, allowing them to take a 40-35 lead into Halftime.  They bumped the lead up to 11 in the Second Half, and it looked like they were going to cruise to an easy revenge win against Oregon.  But that’s when Holiday got in foul trouble and it became apparent just how valuable he is to the team.  Oregon went on a 13-0 spurt, mostly with Holiday on the bench, and regained the lead.  But Aaron came back in, and the Bruins fought back.  It was a see-saw affair until the end of regulation, which saw the teams knotted at 71.  In the OT, Prince Ali hit a 3 to give the Bruins a lead they would never relinquish.  Holiday converted a 3-point play, and Welsh hit a Three-pointer with just over 2 minutes left to increase the margin to 8.  The Ducks closed the deficit to 3, but the Bruins forced Oregon to miss their last 5 shots, and UCLA hit 5 Free Throws to ice the game with a final tally of 86-78.

Holiday ended with 29 Points, 6 Assists, and 5 Boards, running the Offense and making big shots when needed most.  Welsh contributed his 16th Double-Double with 14 and 14, and Kris Wilkes added 19 Points, including 5 3-Pointers.  Holiday also hit 5 from behind the arc, as the Bruins sank 16 3’s for the game.  The Ducks hit 13 of their own, making the combined total for the game 29 — a Pac-12 Season High.  Prince Ali had a tough game, but he did hit that huge three in OT, scored 11 Points, and more impressively, grabbed EIGHT Rebounds.  He will be a KEY element if the Bruins are to make a run in March, as will Jaylen Hands, who also had some rough spots, but he did hit a crucial Three with two minutes left in regulation that put the Bruins back in the lead.  UCLA never trailed again after that shot.

The win completed an imperative Revenge Sweep of the Oregon schools, who both beat the Bruins up North earlier in the year.  Had the Bruins lost either of these home game this weekend, their chances of making the NCAA Tournament would have dissipated to nearly nothing.  Now, with the wins, they are back firmly on the bubble, with every remaining game critical, and a couple of wins in the Pac-12 Tourney probably essential.

Speaking of essential, it is essential that I share these 56 more UCLA Spirit Squad pics.  These were taken earlier in the season, at the Irvine game, just fyi.

"HOLIDAY WIN EXPRESS(LY)" was published on February 18th, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos, UCLA/usc/Sports Photos.

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