Bruins flop out of First Four: What Steve Alford said after UCLA’s NCAA Tournament loss

Steve Alford’s UCLA Bruins went one-and-done in the earliest possible way, losing to St. Bonaventure in a First Four game in the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. UCLA watched a game that was tied in the final two minutes fall apart, as consecutive offensive fouls on Aaron Holiday ended any comeback hopes for the Bruins in the final 30 seconds of action.

A year after reaching the Sweet Sixteen, Alford’s Bruins are headed home early. Here’s what the coach had to say after the loss to the Bonnies:

“I thought we were really good defensively,” Alford said. “I thought we did the things we wanted to do to Mobley and Adams, two really good players. … We just had too many turnovers. We’ve een a team over the last month that’s really handled the ball well. We had a lot of live ball errant passes today. I tihnk the difference in the game was 30-3 in turnovers. That’s hard to overcome, especially in an NCAA game.

“We had 10 fewer shots. In most games this year, we were getting more shots than our opponent. Credit to our defense, but we were very uncharacteristic with our offense.”

“I’m proud of these guys. These two to my right (Aaron Holiday and Thomas Welsh) have meant so much to our program, our culture. You get to see what kind of players they are — they’re better people. They’re better young men. That says a lot, because they’re terrific, great players. I really appreciate what they’ve given to this program, both on the floor, off the floor and in the classroom, they’ve been first class in everything we’ve asked for.

“Unfortunately in March, there’s a finality to it. We’ve reached our finality today.”

The full press conference can be viewed below:

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