UCLA Basketball Is Shocked At Home By Monmouth, 84-81


The UCLA Baksetball team is stunned by Monmouth on opening night as they fall 84-81 in overtime.

The UCLA Basketball team got a challenge earlier in the year than expected as they were out-manned, out-hustled, out-played and out-coached by a Monmouth team that had nothing to lose. With no answers to the feisty Hawks, UCLA lost their season opener 84-81.

Monmouth had started strong and without fear. Possession after possession, they took it to UCLA in the first half and at one point, had a 20-14 lead. The Bruins, for lack of a better term, “hung in there”. For all the scorers and distributors they had in the back court, not a single player had a balanced attack.

Bryce Alford lead all scores with 22 points, but that came at a cost. He shot the ball 17 times (four more than the next Bruin) going 5-for-17 (29.4%) with 4 turnovers. Isaac Hamilton went 0-for-6 with 4 turnovers of his own. Aaron Holiday, in his first collegiate game, went 3-for-13, finishing with 10 points and a team-hgih 6 turnovers.

UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

It was clear the guards were struggling, but for some reason, the Bruins and Head Coach Steve Alford continued to use them as the main focus of the offense. In reality, it was the front court that was making waves in this game.

Thomas Welsh and Tony Parker dominated the smaller Monmouth lineup as they combined for 31 points. Welsh had 12 points and 10 rebounds while Parker finished with a huge double-double of 19 points and 19 rebounds. Unfortunately, Parker once again fell into old habits as he fouled out in overtime.

UCLA actually had a chance to put things away off of an 11-point run going up 53-40 midway through the second half. Unfortunately, as we saw so many times last year, the Bruins let up off the gas and got too complacent in their lead. That was a bad idea against this feisty Monmouth squad.

The Bruins seemed to be satisfied with their lead, yet had over five minutes to go. In that time Monmouth kept penetrating the weak Bruin defense and eventually tied the game at 73. The Bruins could not seal the game after several lackluster set plays in the last minute. With that, this game went to overtime.

Next: What Will Make UCLA Basketball Successful?

Once again, UCLA was able to get out to an early lead, but somehow could not put the game away. Instead, Monmouth kept clawing back in and eventually asserted their will late in the game on a 9-1 run that UCLA had no answer for. And just like that, Monmouth shocked UCLA, 84-81.

And like that, the Bruins lose the first game of the 2015-16 season. They next play Cal Poly Sunday, 7 p.m. PT.