UCLA pulls away late to beat Sun Devils
LOS ANGELES -- UCLA got such a rush from hitting a dramatic game-winning 3-pointer in the waning moments, the Bruins apparently decided to do it again.
Isaac Hamilton scored 26 points, Aaron Holiday hit the tiebreaking 3-pointer with just over a minute remaining, and UCLA outlasted Arizona State 81-74 on Saturday afternoon.
Holiday's 3-pointer from the top of the circle broke a 74-74 tie with 1:13 left. The shot was the last of nine lead changes in the final nine minutes. Bryce Alford added a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left to seal it.
The dramatic victory comes two days after Alford hit a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds to upset No. 7 Arizona.
"Two wins like this go a long way," Hamilton said. "Great wins, both at home, it's something we can build on."
Alford finished with 18 points, Thomas Welsh had 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, and Holiday had 10 points for the Bruins (11-6, 2-2 Pac-12).
UCLA scored the final nine points to pull out the victory after trailing most of the second half.
"It was an emotional win on Thursday, and to come back early Saturday afternoon and have this kind of emotion and effort, I'm very appreciative," Bruins coach Steve Alford said.
Overall UCLA shot 9 of 18 from 3-point range, including making four of their last six.
Holiday had made just four of his previous 17 3-point attempts before draining the game-winner.
"When I saw was open I decided to go up with it," Holiday said. "Luckily I made it."
Tra Holder scored a career-high 26 points and Kodi Justice added 11 points to lead the Sun Devils (10-6, 0-3).
ASU led 74-72 with 1:46 to go but missed its final five shots for its third-straight loss.
"Late in the game there were some defining rebounds we needed to get that we didn't come up with," Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley said. "It was a lack of effort and positioning. They went after the ball hard and made us pay for that."
ASU used a 30-13 run wrapped around halftime to go up 48-43 with just under 15 minutes to go. The big run turned out to be just the beginning of the drama.
Down the stretch Holder, Justice, Hamilton and Alford traded big shots throughout until it was 74-74. Tony Parker missed the potential go-ahead layup for UCLA inside the final two minutes but Welsh came down with the offensive rebound and dished it out to Holiday at the top of the circle, and the freshman guard drained the go-ahead basket.
Justice missed the tying 3-point attempt for ASU, and Alford gained control at the other end and drained a 3-pointer from the right wing to ice it.
"Alford, what a player he is," Hurley said. "He's already shown in numerous games how clutch he is. Today he did it again."
Arizona State: Holder has scored at least 20 points in four straight games. ... Forward Willie Atwood finished with five points on 2 of 11 shooting. He averaged 13.3 points the previous six games. ... Only nine players dressed for the game.
UCLA: Hamilton reached double figures for the 13th straight game. .Welsh recorded his seventh double-double of the season and third in four conference games. .The Bruins improved to 65-19 all-time against the Sun Devils and have won eight of the last 10.
Arizona State hosts Washington State on Thursday.
UCLA hosts USC on Wednesday.