The Bruins seek to even the regular-season series against the Huskies after suffering a 96-93 double overtime loss at Alaska Airlines in the Jan. 1 Pac-12 opener.
Scouting report: UCLA.
Game info: 7 p.m. Thursday at Pauley Pavilion (12,829).
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Gus Johnson and Steve Lavin).
Radio: KOMO 1000 AM and FM 97.7 (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Coach: Steve Alford, 51, is 62-31 (.666) in his third season with the Bruins. During his first two seasons with the Bruins, he led UCLA to two Sweet 16 appearances and one Pac-12 Tournament crown (2014). Alford is 525-266 (.664) during a 25-year career that includes a six-year stint at New Mexico (2007-13) at New Mexico where he was 155-52 (.749), including three NCAA tourney appearances. Prior or New Mexico, Alford coached eight years (1999-07) at Iowa where he was 158-106 (.589) with three NCAA tourney appearances. He got his Division I start at Missouri State where he had a 78-48 (.61) record in four years (1995-99), including a NCAA tourney Sweet 16 run in 1999. Alford began coaching in 1991 at Division III Manchester College and spent four years (1991-95) there.
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As a player, the 6-2 guard led Indiana to a 1987 national championship. He was a first-team all-Big Ten three times and was Indiana’s all-time leading scorer when he graduated. Alford played four years in the NBA before retiring in 1991. He led his teams to at least 22 wins in each of the last seven seasons.
Prediction: Picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll.
Series: UCLA leads 96-41 in a series that began Dec. 30, 1936. UW coach Lorenzo Romar, a former Bruins assistant from 1993-96, is 12-14 against UCLA. Alford is 2-2 against Washington, including an 82-64 loss in the 2010 NCAA tournament when he was at New Mexico.
Last meeting: Behind a career-high 35-point performance from Andrew Andrews, Washington outlasted UCLA for a 96-93 double overtime victory in the Pac-12 opener on Jan. 1 at Alaska Airlines Arena. The teams combined for 64 fouls and 90 free throws. The Huskies trailed 33-28 at halftime. Malik Dime had 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench while Matisse Thybulle and David Crisp both hit clutch three-pointers and finished with 13 points apiece. Dejounte Murray added 11 points.
Previous game: UCLA lost 86-72 at Oregon on Saturday.
Point spread: The Bruins are favored 6.0 points.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Bryce Alford, a 6-3 junior guard, scored 30 points in the last game against the Washington. He missed his first 10 shots, but was clutch the rest of the way. Alford drained a three-pointer with nine seconds left in regulation that forced the first overtime. In the first extra period he canned another three-pointer with 16 seconds remaining that tied the score and forced another overtime. Down three points in the second extra period with seconds remaining, the Huskies didn’t let him attempt another three-pointer and intentionally fouled him. Alford leads UCLA with 16.7 points and 5.3 assists per game. He’s always been a streaky shooter and this season he’s 38.7 percent from the field and 36.3 percent on three-pointers.
— Isaac Hamilton, a 6-5 junior guard, is also a streaky scorer. In the past six games he’s tallied 10, 25, 10, 26, 14 and 27 points respectively. Hamilton is capable of producing a big scoring night. He scored a career-high 36 last season against USC. In the first meeting against Washington he had 15 points on 5-for-13 shooting, six rebounds and five assists in 43 minutes. Hamilton is averaging 16.3 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists this season.
—Thomas Welsh, a 7-foot sophomore center, gave the Huskies fits in their previous game. He finished with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting and 15 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass. Welsh also had two blocks in 35 minutes. It was his best Pac-12 game this season. He’s averaging 12.9 points and 8.8 rebounds.
— Feels as if UCLA is still reeling from an 0-2 Pac-12 start that included an 85-78 loss at Washington State. The Bruins avoided three straight losses to start conference play with a gutty 87-84 win at home over then-No. 7 Arizona.
— UCLA averages 79.8 points, which ranks ranks 45th nationally. The Bruins allow 74.7 points per game, which is 300th.
— Alford and Hamilton comprise the second highest scoring backcourt tandem (33.0) in the Pac-12 behind UW’s Andrews and Murray (36.4).
— Tony Parker, a 6-9 senior forward, has been wildly inconsistent during his four years with the Bruins. Still, he nearly averages a double double (13.4 points and 9.9 rebounds) which is no easy feat.
— Freshman guard Aaron Holiday is the younger brother of former Husky standout Justin. Aaron had a quiet nine points in 20 minutes during the first game against UW.
— UCLA has one of the best starting lineups in the Pac-12. All five starters average at least 12 points. They also average at least 28 minutes, which could be a grind this late in the season. The Bruins play primarily an eight-man rotation that includes F Jonah Bolden and G/F Noah Allen as the top reserves.