Nov. 17, 2011
WACO, Texas - Senior Rebekah Gardner just missed her second-straight, double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Thea Lemberger (11) and freshman Moriah Faulk (10) were also in double figures in points, as the 22nd-ranked Bruins hung tough in the first half with #1 Baylor, but ended up on the losing end of an 83-50 decision on Thursday at the Ferrell Center.
The Bruins fall to 2-1 on the season, while the Lady Bears improve to 3-0 and advance to the Preseason WNIT Championship against #2 Notre Dame on Sunday.
Gardner shot 6-of-15 (40.0%) from the field, but as a team, the Bruins shot just 32.2%. Faulk made the only two three-point shots for the Bruins. Sophomore Corinne Costa added six points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting with three blocks, while junior Atonye Nyingifa produced six points, six rebounds and three steals.
The Bruins, who had not trailed in either of their first two contests this season, led for the first 4 1/2 minutes. Thanks to some great defense and 0-of-5 shooting by Baylor to start, UCLA held an early 5-2 advantage on a free throw and layup by Gardner and a jumper from Lemberger. But the Lady Bears bounced back with 10 in a row to go up 12-5. UCLA recorded the next four on a Faulk jumper and a pair of free throws from Nyingifa to make it 12-9, but the three-point difference was the closest the Bruins would get the rest of the night.
Baylor responded with an 11-2 run to go up by double figures at 23-11. But the Bruins hung tough and went on a 12-4 run of their own to get to within four at 27-23. Lemberger and Gardner each had four points during the run. The Lady Bears closed with the final three points of the half and took a 30-23 lead into the locker room. Gardner scored nine and had five rebounds in the first half, Lemberger added six points and Nyingifa posted four points, five boards and three steals. The Bruins forced 14 Baylor turnovers, but shot only 34.6% (9-for-26) in the first 20 minutes and had 12 turnovers of their own.
The Lady Bears immediately scored the first three points of the second half to get their lead back up to double figures at 33-23. UCLA would get to within eight on a few occasions, but were held scoreless for seven minutes as Baylor pulled away with a 19-0 run to lead 56-29 midway through the second half. Baylor's largest lead of the game was 38 at 75-37 with 5:35 left in the contest, as the home squad went on to win by 33. Faulk had eight of her 10 points in the second half, Gardner added six after intermission and Lemberger posted five, as the Bruins shot 30.3% (10-for-33) from the floor.
The Bruins return to the court on Friday, Nov. 25 as part of the Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic at Cal State Northridge. UCLA will face West Virginia in its first game of the tournament at 5 p.m. The Bruins will then play either Northridge or Colgate on Saturday, Nov. 26 at either 5 or 7:30 p.m. Both contests will be broadcast live at UCLABruins.com with Dave Marcus at the call.