UCLA game day links: Must-win home stand

UCLA head coach Steve Alford questions a call during the first half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

Steve Alford lifts his hand to indicate the direction he thought his team was trending.

Up, his hand points.

That was the direction the Bruins were going before they hit a three-game skid. Now they’re spiraling downward.

Defense and toughness have slipped during the slump, Alford said, and as UCLA begins a crucial three-game home stand Thursday against Cal, the Bruins are desperate for a turnaround to set up the final second half of the conference season.

“They’re valuable lessons for our team to learn that it only takes one game to end up being two games that now it’s three games that it’s happened for us,” Alford said. “We’ve got three losses in those games and we’ve had slippage in toughness and defense in all three of those games.”

UCLA’s game against Cal tips off at 7:30 p.m. PT on Thursday. It will be televised on FS1 with radio on AM 570.

Links to preview the game

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