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UCLA eliminates Stanford

Aaron Holiday, foul trouble mire down Cardinal

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament - Stanford vs UCLA Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford’s Pac-12 tournament run has come to an end with an 88-77 defeat at the hands of UCLA.

Aaron Holiday, the Bruins’ ironman point guard, made his case for being unfairly snubbed in Player of the Year voting. His 34 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds kept the UCLA offense humming all game. In three matchups against Stanford this season, Holiday logged 127 minutes.

Foul trouble played a big role. The officiating crew called things tightly, which spelled trouble for young Stanford stars. Daejon Davis had three fouls before half, and picked up his fourth almost inmediately in the second frame. Davis logged just 22 minutes. Oscar da Silva found himself in a similar boat.

The game was even statistically save for the turnover column; the Cardinal lost that battle by seven. This has been an area of difficulty all year for Stanford, and they could not overcome it in this one.

KZ Okpala matched his career high with 23 points. The freshman got to the rim almost at will. He also contributed 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and some inspired shifts defending Holiday. Reid Travis had a double double with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

In addition to Holiday, the Bruins got 18 and 11 from big man Thomas Welsh, whose 4 threes kept the Stanford defense honest. Alex Olesinski and Chris Smith added good bench minutes.

Stanford falls to 18-15, and will have to wait a few days until the NIT selection committee convenes; they are likely to be in the 32 team field. The Cardinal have 2 NIT championships this decade.