UCLA Avoids Another Upset With A Big Game From Thomas Welsh and Tony Parker


It was almost another upset but the UCLA Basketball team was able to put away Cal Poly after a tremendous comeback to win 88-83.

The UCLA Basketball team found themselves in a familiar situation tonight against the Cal Poly Mustangs, very similar to what we saw on Friday. In essence, the Bruins started slow, pulled away, allowed their opponent to get back in the game and made a late push.

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The only difference between these happenings against Cal Poly and those against Monmouth on Friday is that the Bruins managed to get a 88-83 victory.

Two nights ago, Monmouth was the team on the attack late in the game as they forced overtime and edged out the Bruins. Tonight, it was UCLA that came alive late in the game to salvage a victory.

UCLA did not have the best defense all game, but managed to limit and force bad shots by the Mustangs with under 2 minutes to play. Cal Poly was tiring and failed to exert themselves whilst the Bruins used that to their advantage to pull away late.

Nov 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins center Thomas Welsh (40) hangs on the rim after a dunk in the second half of the game against the Cal Poly Mustangs at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA won 88-81. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The game started with a lot of energy from the Bruins, especially the front court. Tony Parker and Thomas Welsh, who combined for 31 points on Friday, kicked it up a notch with 38 combined points tonight. It was Thomas Welsh who had the big night for the Bruins as he was on fire with his mid-range shots and from the baseline. Welsh went 10-for-12 on the night for 22 points with 5 rebounds.

Parker added 16 of his own, but more impressive was his 15 rebounds, six of which were offensive. The front court was good on Friday, but tonight they were on fire.

There were also major improvements from the team as a whole. Instead of 23 turnovers, the Bruins only gave up 10. Passes were sharper, distribution was more wide spread and shots were falling compared to Friday where UCLA only shot for 37.3%. Tonight, UCLA went 32-for-64 (50%).

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The Bruin faithful also got to see Jonah Bolden in action for the first time. He did not play against Monmouth due to a disciplinary issue and was clearly missed. Tonight, he put up 11 points and grabbed 5 rebounds with 1 block.

The back court also showed overall improvement and had the Bruins playing efficiently (sans the Cal Poly comeback in the second half). Isaac Hamilton, who was nonexistent Friday, nearly had a triple-double with 11 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Bryce Alford finished with 18 points and 8 assists. Aaron Holiday also looked much improved and energized as he had 9 points and 7 assists.

Though the Bruins once again allowed their opponent back in the game after a double-digit mid-second half lead (Cal Poly took a 69-68 lead with just over five minutes to play), they managed to finish the game which is key for them going forward. The Bruins also need to learn not to get complacent, but if they do, it is good to see some fight to finish the game.