Steve Alford walked quickly from the UCLA bench to the other side of the floor, where his 7-foot center was clutching his left knee. Alford bent down low, comforting Thomas Welsh as trainers examined his knee in the first half against Cal on Thursday.
“I know he was most frustrated, most upset – not for him; he was upset because he knows what he means to the team and he was scared,” Alford said. “And that’s just who he is. He’s an incredible teammate.”
Despite a scary-looking injury that turned out to be a left knee sprain, Welsh returned to help the Bruins (14-7, 5-4 Pac-12) snap their three-game losing streak with a 70-57 win over Cal (7-14, 1-7 Pac-12) at Pauley Pavilion. The injury in the first half turned out to be the best thing for the Bruins, who needed a wake-up call after yet another slow start that had them falling into a 13-point hole against the last-place Bears.
After Welsh went down, the Bruins went on a 16-0 run, part of 18 unanswered points in a 24-4 finish to the first half.
Links to wrap up the game