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UCLA Drops Pac-12 Opener to Washington in Double OT 96-93

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UCLA came back twice to tie the Huskies but couldn't do it a third time as the Bruins lose their conference opener in double overtime.

Bryce Alford led two comebacks by UCLA against Washington, but it wasn't enough to get the win.
Bryce Alford led two comebacks by UCLA against Washington, but it wasn't enough to get the win.
Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The first game was one of the ugliest games of basketball you will see this year. In fact, I think I officiated some intramural games when I was a student that were less ugly than this one.

UCLA and UW only scored 9 points each in the first six and a half minutes of the game.

That's when Isaac Hamilton made the first of two free throws to give the Bruins a 10-9 lead. It was the start of a 13-3 run for UCLA and it gave the Bruins a lead which would last for the remainder of the first half and four minutes into the second half.

But, as I wrote above, this game was ugly.

UCLA was called for 15 personal fouls during the first half and both Thomas Welsh and Jonah Bolden found themselves in foul trouble, but the foul calls were relatively balanced as the Huskies were called for 14 personals in the first half too, even if only Andrew Andrews found himself in foul trouble with three called on him in the first half.

The teams went into the locker room with UCLA leading 33-28.

When the teams came back onto the floor, they resumed playing a messy game. Welsh and Bolden each quickly picked up their fourth fouls, sending them to the bench while Tony Parker picked up his third.

Not to be outdone, the Bruin bench decided to join in the foul fest as both Ikenna Okwarabizie and Alex Olesinski added two fouls each. Meanwhile, with 17:34 to go in the game and the score 36-30 UCLA, the Huskies went on a 14-1 run to make it 44-37 UW with 13:35 to play.

The Bruins then went on a 5-2 run of their own to close the deficit to 46-42 with the Huskies' points coming on a pair of free throws following Aaron Holiday's fourth personal foul.

It took the Bruins nine minutes and twenty points to close the gap. During that time, UCLA managed to go the entire nine minutes without a foul.

Ironically, no sooner did the Bruins tie the game than Aaron Holiday was called for his fifth foul, joining the Huskies' Marquese Chriss who had previously picked up his fifth foul.

Two quick fouls sent Malik Dime of UW out as well with the score tied at 64 with 1:36 to go. Welsh missed his first free throw following Dime's foul but made the second to give the Bruins a one-point lead.

Washington took the lead back on a Matisse Thybulle dunk and stretched their lead to four points when Andrew Andrews hit a three-pointer with 32 seconds left.

And, that's when Bryce Alford came through big time for UCLA. Alford, who had gone 0 for 10 from the field in the first half hit a three with 22 seconds left. Isaac Hamilton fouled Andrew Andrews who hit both free throws giving UW a 71-68 lead with 19 seconds left. Alford nailed another three with 9 seconds left to tie up the game and send it to overtime tied at 71.

Alford wasn't done. He scored the Bruins last seven points in overtime including another three-pointer with 16 seconds left to tie the game at 83 and send the game in double overtime.

Bryce score six more in double OT, but, in the end, the Bruins ran out of steam as a team and they just couldn't stop the Huskies who came away with a 96-93 win.

UW's Andrew Andrews led all scorers with 35 points while Bryce led the Bruins with 30. 24 of Alford's points came after halftime and 12 of them came in the two overtime periods. Thomas Welsh posted a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds in a losing effort for UCLA before fouling out and Isaac Hamilton also finished in double figures with 15 points.