March 2, 2013
Sunday, Mar. 3
1:05 p.m. MT/12:05 p.m. PT
No. 16/17 UCLA (22-6, 13-4) at Arizona (12-16, 4-13)
No. 16/17 UCLA (22-6, 13-4 Pac-12) closes out the 2012-13 regular season on Sunday (Mar. 3) in a 1:05 p.m. MT/12:05 p.m. PT tip-off.
While UCLA is 22-6 overall on the year and 13-4 in the Pac-12, all four conference losses and five of the six defeats this season have been to Top 7 teams in the country. UCLA has lost to No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Notre Dame, @ No. 6 Stanford, No. 6 California and @ No. 7 California. The Bruins have won at No. 11 Oklahoma, vs. No. 12 Texas (neutral) and at home vs. No. 22 Colorado (3-5 vs. ranked teams). It is the most ranked teams UCLA has faced in one season since 2006-07. That year, the Bruins faced 10 Top 25 teams (1-9 vs. ranked teams).
After sweeping cross-town rival USC last week, at USC (68-54) and at home (63-58), the UCLA Bruins held firm at No. 17 in the AP Top 25 Poll and stayed at No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. UCLA fell four spots to No. 17 in the NCAA Women's Basketball RPI (NCAA.com). UCLA has been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is the 71st meeting between UCLA and Arizona with the Bruins dominating the series 49-21. The Bruins won this year's earlier meeting as Atonye Nyingifa scored a season-high 20 points and had 12 rebounds and Kari Korver scored 14 points to lead UCLA to a 73-57 victory over Arizona on Jan. 27. Nyingifa made 10 of 15 shots and recorded her second double-double of the season. Korver, a freshman starting in place of injured guard Markel Walker, made three 3-pointers on the way to her then-season high in points. Walker did not play due to a back injury. Wildcats guard Kama Griffitts led all scorers with 22 points. Davellyn Whyte added 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Arizona. Nirra Fields scored 12 points and had four steals for UCLA. The Bruins had 22 assists and forced 22 turnovers. Alyssia Brewer had nine rebounds and Thea Lemberger contributed nine assists and five steals for UCLA.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT MOVES TO SEATTLE
With its new partnership with Force 10 Sports Marketing, LLC, the Seattle Sports Commission and Seattle Center, the Pac-12 Conference will bring the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament to KeyArena in Seattle in 2013. The new agreement, which runs through 2015, moves the tournament to the first full week in March to strengthen television windows and maximize national exposure. ESPN2 will televise the championship game, while all other games will be carried nationally on the Pac-12 Networks.
BRUINS CLINCH FIRST-ROUND BYE AND THIRD PLACE
With Washington's loss to Stanford on Thursday night (Feb. 28), the Bruins clinched a first-round bye in next Week's Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle. With its 58-50 at Arizona State on Friday night, the Bruins clinched third place and the No. 3 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament.
UCLA IN STATISTICAL RANKINGS
UCLA is 3rd in the Pac-12 in scoring (68.4 ppg) and is 4th in the Pac-12 and 22nd in the country in rebounding margin (+7.4). The Bruins lead the Pac-12 and rank 18th in the nation in assists (16.6) and also leads the league in steals (10.9). UCLA is also 3rd in the Pac-12 in rebounds per game (42.9) and 2nd in offensive rebounds (15.9).
CLOSE CALLS ... BRUINS IN OVERTIME
The UCLA Bruins improved to 3-0 under Head Coach Cori Close in overtime games in her two seasons with last week's 53-52 win in overtime at St. John's (Dec. 16). Last season, the Bruins posted back-to-back overtime wins at Colorado (62-54 on Jan. 29, 2012) and at home versus Washington (79-73 on Feb. 2, 2012).
Markel Walker has five double-doubles this season, which ranks 10th in the Pac-12. Additionally, the two Bruins have had double-doubles in the same game three times this season. Walker had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the 86-66 win over Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2) while Brewer had 14 points and 11 rebounds against the Lions. Walker later had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the 76-62 win over Saint Mary's (Dec. 15) as Brewer chipped in 12 points and 10 boards against the Gaels. In the loss to Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20), Brewer had 14 points and 12 rebounds with Walker adding 12 points and 12 boards.
MISSING IN ACTION
Only three of the 13 Bruins have played in all 28 games this season and nobody has started in more than 24 contests, forcing Head Coach Atonye Nyingifa, Markel Walker and Alyssia Brewer for a total of 70:05.