Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


Holiday’s Sweep Number is 34 — With Starting Guard Jaylen Hands out injured, Point Guard Aaron Holiday drops a career-high 34 Points and Shooting Guard Kris Wilkes adds a career-high 22 as UCLA comes back from 10 down to complete a season sweep of u$c with an 83-72 Hands-Down Sweeping Beauty at the Galen Center

The odds were against them, but that’s when the Bruins play their best.  UCLA went to u$c as a 5-point underdog, and then lost Starting Shooting Guard Jaylen Hands to a sprained ankle in practice.  UCLA is already short on team DEPTH, and now a walk-on player will get minutes.  Add to that the trojan revenge factor, with troy having lost to the Bruins 3 straight times, including just 4 weeks ago, AND, a sold out Galen Center hostile environment, AND the trojan motivation that they still need to win to hold onto their “last four in” bubble position for the NCAA Tournament — and it’s hard for Bruin fans to be confident about this game.

But when you least expect it, the Bruins rise above.  Just like the last game against sc, and the game against Kentucky, and the game AT Arizona, UCLA surprised everyone and stepped up to the challenge.  In Superstar Junior Aaron Holiday’s (probable) final regular season game as a Bruin, he exceeded expectations by dominating the game when it mattered most.  He sank 2 of his SIX made three-pointers in the opening minutes, and he scored the Bruins’ last NINE Points, on his way to a stunning 34 — the most he has ever scored.

Aaron did it all.  Besides sinking 6 treys, he frequently drove to the hoop and finished with remarkably athletic baskets.  He also dished out 7 Assists, grabbed 5 Rebounds, and had an incredible Block on Defense.  Holiday absolutely took over the game in the final minutes, as the Bruins expanded their lead instead of the usual clock-milking tactics that often lead to comebacks for the opponents.

Aaron was ELITE, but he definitely didn’t do it all by himself.  His biggest ally was fellow Guard Kris Wilkes.  With Hands out injured, Wilkes really ramped it up, scoring a career-high 22, with 3 3-pointers, plus 4 Rebounds, 3 Assists, a Block and a Steal.  The Bruins also got an unexpected boost from Walk-on Guard Alec Wulff, who provided 6 minutes, logged an Assist, committed no Turnovers, and hit his only shot attempt, which was a 3-pointer that  helped the Bruins come back from an early 30-20 deficit with an 11-0 run.  Wulff helped take the pressure off Prince Ali, who had a tough shooting night (1-for-9), but who snagged 4 Caroms and logged an Assist and a Steal.

On the front line, Thomas Welsh was held in check — a definite rarity.  The Senior Center who is usually good for a double-double didn’t break double-digits in scoring or rebounds, going for just  7 and 9, but he was a tenacious force down the stretch, showing strength and fierceness that kept the trojans at bay during crunch time.  Gyorgy Goloman was also a big contributor, with 5 Points, 9 Rebounds, 2 Assists, and… wait for it… FOUR BLOCKED SHOTS!  GG — like Welsh — exhibited a toughness and power that hasn’t always been present, but that really makes the difference in emotional big-time games.  Freshman Forward Chris Smith, whose playing time has seemed to diminish recently, got 16 minutes in this game, and he produced.  Smith tallied 5 Points, including a great drive to the hoop in transition, 3 Rebounds, and 2 Assists.  Alex Olesinski also scored 5, including a bucket from Downtown.

On the Dark Side, Point Guard Jordan McLaughlin redeemed himself from his choke job in the first meeting, scoring 19, and thug Chimezie Metu — better known for punching opponents directly in their family jewels — had a productive game, scoring 16 (showing a really nice touch on his mid-range jumper) with 10 Boards.  However, when the chips were down and the trojans had their backs to the wall, Metu wilted like a daffodil in a sauna, as the Bruin front line made him disappear with superior tenacity and desire.  In fact, Metu’s whole team made only TWO BUCKETS IN THE LAST TWELVE MINUTES of the game (none by Metu), getting outscored 29-12, spurred by a 17-2 spurt which turned a 54-60 deficit into a 71-62 lead that would never be relinquished.

The pundits’ bracket predictions are purely speculation and are not to be trusted, but with that being said, Saturday night’s 83-72 Bruin victory PUT THEM INTO the Dance (“Last Four In”), and KNOCKED sc OUT (“First Four Out”), according to the most-prolific (ESPN) source.

The Bruins have now beaten the trojans FOUR straight times, and won’t face them again this year unless they both survive to the Championship Game of the Pac-12 Tourney… or in a highly unlikely meeting in March Madness.  So the 4-game streak is probably going to grow, because sc is losing most of their firepower for next year, and their recruiting class is (so far) not ranked nearly as lofty as UCLA’s is.  Even if Holiday decides to leave early (a near certainty and who could blame him), the Bruins appear that they will have a superior roster compared to sc next year, at least on paper.  And that’s not even considering the potential NCAA SANCTIONS that could hit Southern Cal as the FBI Investigation proceeds.  The trojans have already had a coach arrested, and three players implicated in taking money or impermissible benefits.

So it’s on to Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament, which — despite the “experts'” current prognostications — could still determine who’s in and who’s out of March Madness.  UCLA’s first game will be on Thursday, against the winner of the Cal-Stanford game, which of course is EXPECTED to be Stanford.  But rivalry games are unpredictable, with Saturday’s Bruin upset road victory as a case in point.

To celebrate that victory, here are 50 photos of the UCLA Dance Team, taken at the UCLA-ASU Football game last season.



"REGALIN’ IN GALEN" was published on March 4th, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, News from the Dark Side, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos, UCLA/usc/Sports Photos.

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