LOS ANGELES -- The No. 25 UCLA women's basketball team used a 15-1 run midway through the second half to pull away from Vanguard University for a 66-57 exhibition victory at Pauley Pavilion on Halloween.
Senior Atonye Nyingifa had game-highs of 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Bruins, which only dressed seven healthy players. Sophomore Nirra Fields also had a solid effort in the win with 17 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Nicole Ballestero led the Lions with 18 points (4-for-10 from three-point range). Samantha Doucette had 17 points and six rebounds for Vanguard, which is ranked No. 1 in the country in NAIA preseason rankings.
Vanguard played the Bruins to a 27-27 tie at halftime. The Bruins led 24-13 with 5:50 left in the first half, but the Lions closed the opening half on a 14-3 run to catch up by the break.
UCLA led 43-41 (11:59) in the second half and went on a 15-1 run to build a 58-42 lead over a four-minute span. The Bruins held their largest lead of the game of 17 points (61-44) on a traditional three-point play by junior Luiana Livulo with 4:17 remaining. Vanguard trimmed the lead to nine on three separate times, but couldn't get closer.
The Bruins held a 47-40 edge on the boards and committed just 12 turnovers to the Lions' 19. But UCLA struggled from the floor, shooting 31.9 percent (22-for-69) from the field for the game. Vanguard only faired a little better, shooting 34.5 percent (20-for-58) from the floor.
Senior Thea Lemberger finished with 11 points for UCLA, which opens the 2013-14 season at No. 12 Nebraska on Nov. 8. Tip-off is slated for 10:00 a.m. (PT).
Vanguard at No. 25 UCLA (Exhibition)
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