LAS VEGAS – Aaron Holliday had 34 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, lifting UCLA to an 88-77 victory over Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday.
UCLA (21-10) got off to a fast start, withstood a late first-half run and held the Cardinal at arm’s length in the second half.
Holliday and Thomas Welsh carried most of the load, leading the Bruins into Friday’s semifinals against No. 15 Arizona. Welsh had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Holliday made 12 of 25 shots, including 5 of 9 from the 3-point arc.
Stanford (18-15) pulled within four by halftime but never could make up the ground with point guard Daejon Davis in foul trouble.
KZ Okpala led the Cardinal with 23 points, and Reid Travis finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
UCLA entered the Pac-12 Tournament on the NCAA Tournament bubble. A regular season-ending win over rival and fellow bubble team Southern California gave the Bruins some breathing room, but a loss to Stanford could have made them sweat a little on Selection Sunday.
The Cardinal rolled over rival Cal in the Pac-12 first round and beat the Bruins by 16 at Westwood in the teams’ last meeting. UCLA won the first game in double overtime.
The Bruins got off to a fast start in the Pac-12 quarterfinals, hitting 7 of their first 11 shots to build a 30-17 lead. The Cardinal stormed back behind Davis, going on a 15-2 run to tie the game at 32-all.
UCLA led 44-40 at halftime after Holliday scored 17 points.
Holliday and Welsh carried UCLA in the second half, helping them stretch the lead to 71-63 with seven minutes left. Davis went to the bench with his fourth foul 66 seconds into the second half, preventing the Cardinal from making much of a run.
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