LOS ANGELES -- UCLA blew a double-digit lead in the second half when its star guard Aaron Holiday left the game in foul trouble. But he came back in time to rescue the Bruins and lead them to an overtime victory.
Holiday scored 29 points and Kris Wilkes added 19 to lead UCLA to an 86-78 overtime victory over the Ducks in a Pac-12 Conference game Saturday night.
In the extra period, Holiday completed a 3-point play to give UCLA 77-73 lead with three minutes left. Gyorgy Goloman added a free throw and Thomas Welsh drilled a 3-pointer to make it 81-73 a minute later. The Ducks cut it to 81-78 but Wilkes, Holiday and Prince Ali made five free throws in the final minute to seal it.
Holiday shot 9 of 13 from the field, had six assists and played down the stretch in the second half with four fouls. He scored 20-plus points for the 14th time this season. The junior guard is currently fourth in scoring (19.0 per game) in the Pac-12 this season. Wilkes set a career-high with five 3-pointers.
Welsh scored 14 points and had 14 rebounds for UCLA (19-8, 10-5).
UCLA built a 59-48 lead on a jumper by Holiday with 12:22 remaining but the Ducks went on a 13-0 run, capped by Elijah Brown's layup that gave them a two-point lead with 7:42 play. However, UCLA was able to hang in and push the game to the extra period.
"Winning like this in overtime shows we have mental toughness and we got it done tonight," Holiday said.
Bruins coach Steve Alford said Holiday's presence on the court is vital to UCLA's success.
"They went on a big run when Aaron was on the bench in foul trouble," Alford said. "They got more aggressive and they made shots. We need Aaron on the court. Our plus-minus when he is not on the court tells you how important he is to us. He is definitely a candidate for player of the year, he's that important to us".
Welsh registered his 16th double-double of the season, the most by any Bruin since Kevin Love had 23 in the 2007-08 season.
"At the start of OT, I said I'm a senior and I have five minutes left in this place (Pauley Pavilion)," Welsh said. "We got fired up and went on a run and closed it out. It was emotional to being playing my last game here with my family watching. Playing at UCLA was like a dream come true".
After trailing early, Holiday and Wilkes combined for 25 points to give UCLA a 40-35 lead at the break.
"We really put ourselves in a poor position," Ducks coach Dana Altman said. "We weren't shooting the ball well, especially at the free throw line. In regulation, we shot five for 10, and in overtime we missed a front end of a 1-and-1 situation. We also had a bad stretch when we went down by 11 points".
The Ducks, the No. 1 free-throw shooting team in the conference (77.9 percent), made only 5-of-11 free throws in the game.
Oregon: The Ducks have lost two in a row after beating Washington and Washington State by a combined 52 points last weekend. Oregon's thin NCAA Tournament hopes could hinge on home games against No. 25 Arizona State and No. 17 Arizona next week.
UCLA: The Bruins are second (behind Arizona) in scoring in the conference averaging 82.4 points per game and currently have four players averaging in double figures (Holiday, Kris Wilkes at 13.5, Welsh, 13.0 and Jaylen Hands 10.8).
Welsh is the only player in UCLA history to tally at least 900 career rebounds and make at least 30 career 3-pointers. Entering Saturday's game, Welsh ranked seventh in the nation (Division I) with 952 career rebounds.
UCLA SENIORS HONORED
IN THE GENES
Several Oregon players have connections to the sports world: Will Johnson's father is Kris Johnson who won an NCAA title as a member of UCLA basketball team in 1995 and his grandfather is Marques Johnson who won an NCAA title in 1975 with UCLA. Elijah Brown is the son of Golden State assistant coach Mike Brown, M.J. Cage is the son of former L.A. Clipper and 15-year NBA veteran Michael Cage and Victor Bailey Jr.'s mother, Tonja Buford Bailey, won a bronze medal in the Olympics in 1996 in the 400 yard hurdles and his father, Victor, played in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.
FORMER BRUINS IN THE HOUSE
Former UCLA Bruins forward Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Myles Jack (Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker) attended Saturday's game.
OREGON: The Ducks open two-game home stand against Arizona State on Thursday.
UCLA: The Bruins will play their final three regular season games on the road starting on Thursday at Utah.
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