#25 UCLA Stays Local for Northridge Tournament

Nov. 22, 2011

UCLA Game Notes - Cal State Northridge Tournament (Games 4-5) Get Acrobat Reader

Friday, Nov. 25
5 p.m. - #25 UCLA vs. West Virginia
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio

Saturday, Nov. 26
5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. - #25 UCLA vs. Cal State Northridge or Colgate
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio

The 25th-ranked Bruins (2-1) face West Virginia (2-1) on Friday at 5 p.m. as part of the Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic at Cal State Northridge. On Saturday, UCLA will take on either Northridge (2-2) or Colgate (0-5) at 5 or 7:30 p.m. Both games will be broadcast at uclabruins.com with Dave Marcus and Tracy Murray at the call.

The Bruins are coming off an 83-50 loss at top-ranked Baylor last Thursday in the Preseason WNIT Semifinals. 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.

In the early going of the 2011-12 season, Gardner is tops on the team with 15.0 points per game and second with 8.7 rebounds per game, shooting 48.6% (17-for-35) from the field. She posted her first-career double-double with a personal-best 21 points and 10 rebounds against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 13, going 7-of-14 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Gardner was named to the Preseason WNIT All-Tournament Team on Sunday.

Junior Atonye Nyingifa is averaging a double-double with 12.7 ppg and a team-best 10.7 rpg, while Lemberger is also in double figures in ppg at 11.0. Nyingifa had a pair of double-doubles in the first two games of the Preseason WNIT, with 16 points and 12 rebounds against McNeese State (Nov. 11) and 16 points and a career-high 14 boards versus Tennessee Tech. Lemberger has double figures in points in all three contests, putting up 10 against McNeese, 12 versus Tennessee Tech and 11 at Baylor.

Off the bench, Faulk has produced a pair of 10-point games against McNeese and Baylor. She drained a pair of treys in Waco last Thursday and is tied with Lemberger for the team lead with three. Sophomore Rhema Gardner posted a career-high 18 points against McNeese State and has started all three contests.

Junior Mariah Williams has a pair of starts this season and has a team-high 10 assists in three games, including six versus McNeese. Freshman Kacy Swain picked up her first start at Baylor and had nine points off the bench against Tennessee Tech. Sophomore Corinne Costa leads the Bruins with six blocks, notching three at Baylor.

Three Bruins, juniors Jackie Shepard (shoulder) and Markel Walker (thumb), and freshman Alexis Perry (shoulder), have yet to see action this season as they recover from off-season surgeries. Freshman walk-on Madeline Brooks has also yet to see action. Senior Jasmine Dixon ruptured her Achilles tendon in September and is likely to miss the season, while senior transfer Alyssia Brewer will redshirt in '11-'12 and play her final season next year.

West Virginia is 2-1 on the season, beating Youngstown State (69-37) on Nov. 11 and North Carolina Central (97-24) on Nov. 20, while losing to St. Bonaventure (56-48) on Nov. 18, with all three contests coming in Morgantown, W.V. The Mountaineers return just one starter and six letterwinners from last year's team which went 24-10 and 8-8 (10th) in the Big East Conference, and lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament to Baylor.

Three players are averaging in double figures in points, led by sophomore Taylor Palmer, who is posting 18.7 ppg and has made 11 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Jessica Harlee is second with 10.7 ppg and first with a 57.1 field goal percentage and nine steals, while sophomore Christal Caldwell is third with 10.3 ppg. Mike Carey is in his 11th season at West Virginia and has a 205-118 record in Morgantown and a 493-220 mark in 24-plus years of coaching.

The Bruins are 2-0 all-time against West Virginia. Both matchups occurred at Pauley Pavilion, as UCLA won 91-76 on Nov. 22, 1998 and 68-57 on Nov. 26, 1989.

The winner of Friday's UCLA-West Virginia matchup will face the winner of the Cal State Northridge-Colgate contest in the tournament championship on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The losers of both games will play in the consolation contest at 5 p.m.

Cal State Northridge is 2-2 on the season, with all four games coming on the road. The Matadors knocked off San Francisco (67-59) on Nov. 11 and Loyola Marymount (79-62) on Nov. 14, but dropped back-to-back games against Pac-12 schools last weekend, falling at Oregon State (83-63) on Nov. 17 and Washington (73-67) on Nov. 19. Northridge brings back five letterwinners and three starters from last year's squad which went 4-24 and 4-12 (9th) in the Big West Conference.

Senior Jasmine Erving leads three players in double figures in scoring, as she is averaging a double-double with 15.8 ppg and 10.0 rpg. Junior Violet Alama is second with 11.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg, while freshman Janae Sharpe is third with 10.8 ppg. Jason Flowers is in his second season at Cal State Northridge and is 6-26.

The Bruins are 9-0 all-time against the Matadors, with the last matchup coming at Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 30, 2008 (96-53). Five of the nine contests have occurred at Northridge, as UCLA won the last meeting there 81-69 on Nov. 14, 2007. Eight of the nine decisions have been decided by double figures.

Colgate, out of Hamilton, N.Y., is 0-5 after losing to Sacred Heart 78-51 on Tuesday. The Raiders have lost their five games by a combined 50 points to Bryant (76-74, Nov. 11), Cornell (59-56, Nov. 15), Vermont (61-49, Nov. 18) and Dartmouth (56-50, Nov. 19). Colgate returned 10 letterwinners from last year's team which went 7-22 and 2-12 (8th) in the Patriot League.

Junior Jhazmine Lynch, the lone Colgate player from California (San Diego), is averaging a team-best 13.8 ppg and eight steals, and is second with 5.4 rpg. Freshman Mariah Jones is second with 9.4 ppg, while senior Candice Green is third with 7.8 ppg and first with eight three-pointers. Nicci Hays-Fort is in her first season at Colgate.

The Bruins have never faced the Raiders or a team from the Patriot League.

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