Nov. 14, 2012
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Thea Lemberger scored 18 points for UCLA to lead the Bruins to an 86-80 upset at No. 11 Oklahoma on Wednesday night in Lloyd Noble Center. Senior Alyssia Brewer had a successful return to her home state (Tulsa, Okla.) with 15 points and 16 rebounds for UCLA.
"I am proud of this win because of the respect that we have for Coach Coale and her team," UCLA Head Coach Cori Close said. "They showed so much resolve to come back in the second half. This means a lot to us because Oklahoma is such a great program. They're a tremendous team and we earned a good win against a very, very good team."
Lemberger was 7 of 12 from the field for UCLA (2-0). She had three rebounds, two assists and a steal. Alyssia Brewer scored 15 points and snagged 16 rebounds. Markel Walker added 16 points and Jasmine Dixon had 11 points for the Bruins. Atonye Nyingifa just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds for UCLA, which dominated the Sooners on the boards, 56-34.
"As much as I'm thrilled about out-rebounding them by 22, I love the mentality that it showed in our team," Close said. "They weren't just rebounds that were easy. It was how the rebounds came about that I thought were just tremendous in terms of our mentality. Relentlessness and will are what rebounding's all about. I think it showed a lot about our heart and mentality."
UCLA led by one point at halftime, 37-36.
Aaryn Ellenberg led the Sooners (1-1) with 24 points, including 7 of 9 from 3-point range. She was 7 of 13 from the field. Whitney Hand was 7 of 11 from the field and added 19 points and six rebounds. Nicole Griffin and Sharane Campbell each had 12 points.
At 19:02 in the second period, Hand made a 3-pointer to tie the game 39-39. But Brewer would make a layup and the free throw after being fouled by Griffin, putting the Bruins ahead. They would lead the rest of the game.
"We have so many different weapons, and we played big tonight for a long time with [Atonye] Nyingifa, [Markel] Walker, [Jasmine] Dixon and [Alyssia] Brewer," Close said. "I just thought we had so many opportunities to get inside touches that that had to be a major priority for us. I thought our attacks off the dribble in some very key moments were huge. I thought tonight we were really in the hunt for that attack shot. We wanted to have that attack mentality inside. We are tough to match up with on that front line."
The Bruins built their largest lead of 18 points to lead 69-51 with 9:57 remaining. But Oklahoma engineered a 27-11 run to cut it to two points (80-78) with 54 seconds left. Dixon, Walker and Lemberger would combine to go 6-for-8 from the charity stripe to put the game on ice.