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Tired and Benchless UCLA Loses to Wake Forest

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So much for the promise of depth. Fouls and Alford's refusal to use his bench throughout the tournament cost UCLA a shot at third in Maui

Tony Parker and Devon Thomas battled down low all night
Tony Parker and Devon Thomas battled down low all night
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Ironically UCLA ended the tournament the way they started - just in reverse - losing 80-77 to Wake Forest. UCLA led early and Wake Forest looked bad. Then Wake Forest took the lead and won the game at the game at the free throw line, just as UCLA had done to UNLV. Wake shot 30-42 to UCLA's 8-14 from the line. Wake Forest only scored one basket in the last eight shots but it didn't matter as they scored all their points from the line.

And the game started seemingly well. UCLA got a break when Wake Forest's star of the tournament and freshman point guard could not play because of the flu, yet UCLA still struggled and got killed in transition. At half Wake Forest had forced 5 turnovers for 13 points and was up 42-35 at half.

UCLA had three players who kept them in the game. Tony Parker looked like he was playing at Pauley with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Thomas Welsh was tired and picked up 2 fouls but in 12 minutes he had 6 points and was the only UCLA in the plus in the +/- . Isaac Hamilton had his ah interesting moments but overall was decent on offense 7 points and 2 assists. The rest of UCLA looked tired and disinterested in defense and shot 3-14.

The second half saw two too tired teams. The ironic thing is UCLA is paying for its lack of a bench. Holiday sat just one minute til he fouled out. He finished with a valiant effort but just 2 assists to 5 turnovers. Bryce Alford at times was so tired he was looking to pass first. Yet, Jonah Bolden did not play in the second half until under a minute left when the game was over.

More detailed thoughts tomorrow on the season and the tournament as a whole. But there are some serious concerns.

Happy Thanksgiving.