Bruins collapse, suffer OT defeat at Michigan

UCLA-Aaron Holiday-Wooden Award

Michigan coach John Beilein said it best after his team came back from 15 points down to complete a 78-69 overtime win over UCLA in Ann Arbor Saturday morning.

“You almost feel guilty winning like that,” Beilein said.

Key word: “Almost” because this one goes into the books as a win for the Wolverines and a relatively ugly loss for the Bruins, who dropped to 7-2 on the season and 0-1 on the road.

The defeat spoiled a terrific performance from guard Aaron Holiday, who finished with 27 points on nine-of-17 shooting with seven assists and four rebounds. A Holiday three-pointer gave the Bruins a 46-31 lead with 14:48 remaining. And it was one several impressive plays he made.

One major blemish: Holiday also finished with seven turnovers and that was the main issue for the Bruins as a whole as they totaled 20 as a team, including three during overtime. The Bruins were outscored 13-4 during the extra period.

The nature of the loss particularly stung, as the Bruins built a nice lead and were in ideal position to come away with a road win over a solid team from a major conference, the kind that looks good on the resume come NCAA tournament time.

UCLA came into the game with a Rating’s Percentage Index of 108 and a win over the Wolverines (RPI of 70) would have helped in a big way.

Instead, UCLA fans are shaking their heads, wondering what to make of their team.

The game also gave the Bruins a taste of what they can expect on the road all season as opposing students will be sure to remind them of what happened during the team’s preseason visit to China, when a shoplifting incident embarrassed the program and led to the suspension of three freshman, including LiAngelo Ball, who has since left school.

From Ben Bolch of the LA Times:

“Michigan students greeted the Bruins with a bevy of China flags and signs referencing the international shoplifting incident from last month that resulted in the indefinite suspensions of freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley.

One sign purported to tout Ball’s career stats, noting he had zero points, rebounds, assists and blocks but one steal. Another sign referenced Ball’s braggadocios father, reading, “LaVar scored more than LiAngelo.” A third sign, alluding to the fact that LiAngelo and younger brother LaMelo had signed with an agent, read “UCLA has no Balls.”

It was the first taste of what figures to be season-long teasing from rival fans. UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero and senior associate athletic director Josh Rebholz were seated directly in front of students holding miniature China flags.”

Next up for the Bruins: hosting No. 17 Cincinnati Dec. 16.



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