UCLA got a win it desperately needed on Sunday night. Now, it just needs to scratch out five or six more.
The Bruins injected a bit of life into their tepid NCAA tournament hopes in Tempe, closing out a 78-65 win over Arizona State — one of just two teams sitting below them in the Pac-12 standings. After weathering some hot shooting early on, they held ASU to 31 percent from the field in the second half. With 86 seconds left, Steve Alford felt comfortable enough to empty his bench.
Talent disparity or not, UCLA (13-11, 5-7) showed a few encouraging signs. Most crucial was the play of sophomore Jonah Bolden, who led the Bruins with a career-high 16 points. That’s no small feat, even considering his four-star pedigree. Heading into Valentine’s Day, the 6-foot-10 forward had averaged just 3.5 points per game in conference play.
Perhaps sharing the floor with Tony Parker has helped. The senior center is by no means a perfect player, but he nonetheless commands a healthy share of defensive attention. And in the last couple of games, Alford has become more willing to play Bolden next to Parker, rather than subbing out Bolden for sophomore Gyorgy Goloman. Continue reading “UCLA clings onto NCAA hopes with 78-65 win at Arizona State” »
UCLA head coach Steve Alford talks about his team’s progress as they prepare to start Pac-12 play on Friday at Washington.
The Bruins are expecting the return of reserve guard Prince Ali, who has missed three games with a bruised knee, but forward Gyorgy Goloman — sidelined all season by a stress fracture in his leg — remains doubtful to make the trip north.
UCLA forward Gyorgy Goloman has not played this season due to a stress fracture in his leg. (Michael Owen Baker/Staff)
UCLA’s 67-53 win over McNeese State on Tuesday night marked the Bruins’ last game of 2015. The team is hoping to ring in the new year with a couple of extra bodies.
Head coach Steve Alford toldreporters after the game that Prince Ali and Gyorgy Goloman could both rejoin the team’s bench in time for its Pac-12 opener at Washington on Jan. 1. Ali has missed three games with a bruised knee, and had been averaging 5.8 points as the first guard off the bench for UCLA.
Goloman, who averaged 10.8 minutes as a freshman, has yet to play this season due to a stress fracture in his leg. Alford said the 6-foot-11 forward will be out for another week or two, which could delay his debut until the Bruins host No. 8 Arizona on Jan. 7.
Steve Alford gave a few updates on No. 22 UCLA before the team left campus for a flight to New York City. The Bruins are slated to play No. 11 North Carolina on Saturday at 10 a.m. PT at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
» Center Thomas Welsh and reserve guard Prince Ali have a chance to return this weekend after sitting out Tuesday night’s win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
UCLA guard Prince Ali is day to day after suffering a bone bruise on his left knee against Gonzaga on Saturday, and will not play tonight against Louisiana-Lafayette.
Ali is averaging 13.1 minutes off the bench for the No. 22 Bruins, scoring 5.8 points per game to go with 1.4 rebounds. His absence likely means more minutes for 6-foot-10 forward Jonah Bolden, who had his first career double-double against the Bulldogs.
Center Thomas Welsh will also be sidelined against the Ragin’ Cajuns due to a stomach virus.
Forward Gyorgy Goloman has yet to play this season due to a stress fracture in his leg, and is expected to be out for at least three more weeks.