LOS ANGELES (AP) — Aaron Holiday scored a career-high 33 points and Jaylen Hands added 19 points to lead UCLA to a 96-82 victory over Washington State University Friday in the Pac 12 opener for both teams.
Kris Wilkes scored 14 points and Thomas Welsh scored 12 points and had 14 rebounds for the Bruins (10-3).
Robert Franks scored 20 points, Carter Skaggs added 17 and Milan Acquaah and Jeff Pollard scored 13 and 12 points respectively for the Cougars (8-5).
Holiday made 11 of 18 shots, including all five of his 3-point attempts and recorded his 5th 20-point game of the season and guided the Bruins to a third consecutive win.
The junior guard surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in his career when he drilled a 3-pointer at the 7:45 mark of the opening half giving the Bruins a 27-22 lead. Holiday becomes the 55th player in UCLA history to score 1,000 points.
Welsh reached the 1,000-point mark with a free throw with 3:16 left in the game and became the 56th UCLA player to reach the 1,000-point scoring plateau.
Welsh’s bucket at the 13:42 mark of the first half gave UCLA a 14-5 lead. The Cougars battled back and cut the lead to 29-28 following an Acquaah free throw with 5:33 to go in the half.
Wilkes’ 3-point play down the stretch propelled the Bruins to a 42-37 lead at the break.
Holiday made 9 of 13 shots and scored 23 points in the first half. Wilkes added 8 points for the Bruins. Acquaah led WSU with 11 points in the first half. UCLA held a 23-17 advantage on the glass in the opening half and a 43-30 edge for the game.
Skaggs drilled his fourth 3-pointer of the second half to cut the lead to 64-62 with 9:34 to play. But the Bruins countered by scoring on 6 of the next 7 possessions and took an 80-68 lead following a layup by Hands and sealed the win.
The Bruins have defeated the Cougars in five of their last six contests and have beaten WSU eight straight times at Pauley Pavilion and are 12-1 in Los Angeles against the Cougars since the start of the 2004-05 season. UCLA extended its record to 58-3 against WSU in Los Angeles.
The Bruins are 7-1 this season at home and WSU fell to 3-3 on the road this season.
The Bruins have outrebounded its opponents in 11 of its 13 games this season.
A moment of silence was observed before the game in memory of former UCLA broadcaster Dick Enberg who died last week of a heart attack at his home in La Jolla, California.
WSU: The Cougars lead the Pac 12 in 3’s made per game (11.9) and are ranked 4th nationally. Entering Friday’s game, WSU made 12 or more 3’s in 8 of their 12 games this season. Four Cougars rank in the top 10 of the Pac 12 for 3’s made per game (Malachi Flynn is second in the league (2.83 per game), Franks and Viont’e Daniels are 6th in the Pac-12 (2.42) and Skaggs is ninth in the league (2.33).
UCLA: The Bruins improved its record against the Cougars to 107-17. Holiday also became the 13th UCLA player in history to have scored 1,000 points and dish out 300 assists. Holiday now has 1016 points and 356 assists in Bruins career. Welsh has scored 1,001 points and has 819 rebounds in his career, only the 12th player to score 1,000 points and 800 rebounds.
WSU: The Cougars will travel to USC to play the Trojans on Sunday evening.
UCLA: On New Year’s Eve the Bruins will host Washington.
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