Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


Aaron on the side of awesome — Aaron Holiday gets his career-high 34 Points for the second game in a row, plus 8 Assists, 7 Rebounds, and 2 Steals, leading UCLA to an 88-77 victory over Stanford that is presumed to clinch a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the Bruins

Aaron Holiday keeps getting better and better.  He has come such a long way from last season when he was possibly the best “6th Man” in the Country, but who could not always be counted on to complete the clutch drive or avoid the costly turnover in traffic.  NOW, he is Mr. Clutch, with supreme confidence and the stats to prove it.  He is deadly from 3-Point range, and unstoppable driving to the hoop.  On Thursday night, he scored 17 in each half, and pretty much dominated the game from beginning to end, as UCLA survived and advanced in the Pac-12 Tournament, vanquishing Stanford 88-77.

Holiday actually did miss a few lay-ups in this game, at the end of stellar penetrations.  It was so surprising that the announcers remarked about its rare-ness.   Maybe there was something different about the rims in Las Vegas, because the Bruins uncharacteristically botched about a dozen gimmes on the night.  It allowed Stanford to stay in the game, with the resulting win not being clinched until the final 45 seconds.

UCLA started strong, going up 20-10 early, building the lead to 13 soon thereafter.  But then Stanford’s Coach begged his team to show some passion, and they responded with a 15-2 run to tie the game.  The Bruins stayed ahead most of the game, but the Cardinal was within striking range throughout.

Kris Wilkes was in a little foul trouble, and did not deliver his usual Offensive punch, but Thomas Welsh picked up the slack.  Welsh hit 4 Three-pointers on his way to 18 Points, and he also pulled down 11 Rebounds for yet another Double-Double.  Alex Olesinski hit 2 Three’s, and Chris Smith hit 6 Free Throws to help the Bruins get to 88.  Gyorgy Goloman had foul trouble as well, but threw down a crucial dunk with 4 minutes left, right before fouling out, that put the Bruins up by 10.

Prince Ali struggled with his shot, going 3-9 and 0-4 from Downtown, but he definitely contributed, with 5 Boards, 2 Assists, a Steal, and one huge, acrobatic lay-up with 7 minutes to go.  So lots of people coalesced to pull off this triumph, but it was really, once again, the Aaron Holiday Show:  34 Points, 8 Assists, 7 Caroms, and 2 Steals, playing all 40 minutes.  He also stuffed a monster dunk, hit a long Three, and sank 3 of 4 Free Throws all in the final 3 and a half minutes to close out the Cardinal.  Can he do it again 24 hours later?  Playing in a back-to-back game after carrying a team for 40 minutes is going to be a daunting challenge.  Hopefully, Jaylen Hands, who returned from an ankle sprain to play 10 minutes on Thursday, can spell Aaron a bit against Arizona on Friday night.

If the Bruins manage to upset 4-point favorite Arizona again, they would face the Oregon-sc winner in a back-to-back-to-back situation on Saturday.  I know Aaron Holiday has the will of a warrior and the heart of a lion, but 120 minutes in 3 straight nights?  Luckily, these games are no longer crucial, as UCLA looks like a shoo-in for March Madness after dispatching Stanford.  However, the Bruins’ SEEDING is still very much in the air, and that means it’s up to Aaron.

Speaking of rarefied air, here are 45 more never-before-seen photos of the UCLA Spirit Squad (taken at the UCLA-sc Football game this past season).

"THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE AARON" was published on March 9th, 2018 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos, UCLA/usc/Sports Photos.

Comments on "THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE AARON": 1 Comment

  1. John Conaty wrote,

    UCLA is NOT a shoo-in unless they beat U of A today. If UCLA loses, bubble!

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