UCLA needed to play defense tonight and, for the first ten minutes of the game, they did an excellent job on defense.
In fact, for about seven minutes, the Bruins held Oregon State to just two points. It was during that time that UCLA went from being down by as many as three to being up by nine as the Bruins went on a 12-0 run which started with a Thomas Welsh jumper at the 16:40 mark.
It was Welsh who seemed to come up big whenever it was needed.
He tipped an offensive rebound back in with 7:34 to go in the first half to put the Bruins up by ten -- their biggest lead of the first half.
But that would be another turning point of the game. The Beavers would score 13 of the next 20 points by both teams to cut the UCLA lead to only 4 with less than three minutes to go before the break.
Aaron Holiday and Bryce Alford would score the Bruins final eight points of the first half while OSU would add four of their own to make it a 40-32 game at the half.
After the break, the Beavers came back out and cut the lead to three in the first five minutes of the second half as three different Bruins were called for fouls and OSU made four of five free throws. Drew Eubanks' dunk with 15:18 left closed the gap to 46-43 in favor of UCLA.
That's when the Bruin defense showed up again as UCLA went on a 10-3 run giving the Bruins a 10-point lead 56-46 with 12:08 to go.
Following a layup by Olaf Schaftenaar, Bryce Alford would add the Bruins' next seven points while OSU could only muster another layup from Stephen Thompson, Jr. this time, making it 63-50 UCLA with 8:19 to go.
UCLA held OSU to just six points over the next four minutes as they increased the lead to 15 and the Bruins led 73-56 with less than four minutes to play.
The Beavers were able to close the gap to 13 points but the deficit proved just too much for Oregon State and the Bruins held on for an 82-73 win.
Isaac Hamilton led all scorers with 25 points and Bryce Alford added 19. Gary Payton II led the Beavers with 17 points.
Thomas Welsh recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds while Tony Parker had 11 rebounds and 8 points. Parker now needs just 3 rebounds to tie Tracy Murray for 25th place on UCLA's all-time rebounds list.
The UCLA bench only managed 8 points for the entire game.
Overall, it was a solid and much-needed Bruin victory.