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Holiday scores 21 as UCLA tops Cal, 107-84

BERKELEY,Calif. -- After experiencing arguably their most dispiriting loss of the season earlier in the week, UCLA wasn't about to leave anything to chance.

Aaron Holiday scored 21 points and Thomas Walsh scored 19 more as the Bruins jumped out to an early lead on their way to a 107-84 victory over California on Saturday.

The Bruins (12-4, 3-1 Pac-12), who blew a big lead in Thursday's double-overtime loss to Stanford, opened a 13-2 lead to start the game against Cal.

"Right from the jump that's what we were really focusing on, coming out strong to start this game and I think we did exactly that," Walsh said. "That's key especially playing on the road in the Pac 12. You have to get ahead early and I think we did a good job of that tonight."

The Bruins reached a season-high in points, picking up their fifth win in the past six games. They beat California (7-9, 1-2) for a fifth time in seven games.

All five UCLA starters reached double digits in scoring.

Kris Wilkes finished with 16 points, Prince Ali had 15 points and Alex Olesinski had 14.

The Bruins shot 58.2 percent from the field (32 for 55) and 56.7 percent from beyond the arc (17 for 30).

"We just went through our normal game plan," Holiday said. "They were open. We shot them and we hit them."

Justice Sueing led California with 22 points and Marcus Lee had 19 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.

Welsh, who also pulled down 14 rebounds, notched his 10th double-double.

California, which lost for the third time in four games, trailed 54-33 after shooting 11 for 43 in the first half.

Darius McNeill hit a 3-pointer for California midway through the second half, capping a 12-3 run that closed the Golden Bears to within 73-60.

"I was really happy with our guys' fight in the second half," California coach Wyking Jones said. "It felt like the energy is what we wanted all year and they showed a lot of toughness, fight and aggressiveness, and that's what I've been looking for. Unfortunately, we did it when we were down 21."

MASKED MAN

Welsh said he's getting more comfortable playing with a protective mask made for him after taking a blow to the nose in a Dec. 29 game against Washington State. He said the mask allows him to play more aggressively.

"I'm still going to be aggressive whether or not I'm wearing it, but it definitely is kind of comforting to know that I have something there in case I get hit again," Welsh said.

L.A. STORY

California, which lost to USC on Thursday 80-62, was swept by the two L.A. schools at home for the first time since 2007.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: The Bruins, who've shown a problematic tendency of blowing big leads late in games, clamped down just enough on the defensive end to hold off a second-half California rally. The Bruins blew a 13-point lead in the last nine minutes of a 107-99 double-overtime loss to Stanford on Thursday in which they allowed a combined 71 points in the second half and two overtimes.

California: The Golden Bears were riding some momentum after rallying from a 17-point deficit to defeat Stanford 77-74 in their Dec. 30 conference opener for their fourth win in five games. That momentum appears to have blunted after California lost for the fourth time in five games at home.

UP NEXT

UCLA: Hosts Utah on Thursday night.

California: Plays at Washington on Thursday night.