Holiday - UCLA preview

UCLA junior guard Aaron Holiday, driving against California's Darius McNeill, earlier this season, averages a team-best 18.9 points and 5.2 assists this season. 

Here's a look at UCLA, Oregon State's opponent Thursday night at Gill Coliseum.

The Bruins enter Thursday's game at 13-5 overall and tied for third in the Pac-12 at 4-2.

UCLA is the No. 1 scoring offense in Pac-12 games at 86.3 points. Oregon State is the top scoring defense at 65.2.

The Bruins are coming off possibly their poorest performance of the season in a 68-59 home loss to Colorado. UCLA shot 23 of 62 (37.1 percent) from the floor, 5 of 25 (20.0) on 3-pointers and 8-18 (44.4) on free throws.The field goal and free throw percentages were season lows.

Thomas Welsh led the Bruins in that game with 20 points (on 9-of-10 shooting) and eight rebounds.

UCLA's highlight win of the season came against current No. 18 Kentucky, 83-75 on Dec. 23 in New Orleans.

For the season, the Bruins are shooting 48.6 percent from the field (sixth in the Pac-12), 37.1 percent on 3-pointers (fifth) and 69.4 percent on free throws (ninth).

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Aaron Holiday is the team's leading scorer at 18.9 points per game. The junior guard has eight 20-point games this season and also averages 5.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds. 

Holiday had just 10 points (on 4-of-13 shooting) with six turnovers against Colorado. He's scored in double figures in all but one game this season.  

Senior center Thomas Welsh averages 12.8 points and is second in the Pac-12 with 10.8 rebounds. Freshman guard Kris Wilkes averages 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds.

The Bruins were 31-5 last year, reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third time in head coach Steve Alford's first four seasons. They lost two players to graduation, including standout Bryce Alford, the coach's son. Three freshmen were selected in the NBA draft, most notably Lonzo Ball.

Steve Alford, a former All-American player at Indiana, is in his 27th year as a head coach. Thirteen of his teams have reached the NCAA tournament.  

UCLA has won six of the last nine and 19 of the last 23 against Oregon State, including a two-game sweep last season. 

One of OSU coach Wayne Tinkle's most memorable wins came against the Bruins. The Beavers defeated the Bruins, 86-82, on the road at the end of the 2015-16 regular season to lock down a spot in the NCAA tournament.

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