LOS ANGELES -- The No. 25 UCLA women's basketball team opened its home slate with an 82-78 victory over the Pepperdine Waves at Pauley Pavilion on Monday afternoon. The Bruins' first win of the season evened their record at 1-1, while the Waves dropped to 1-1.
Three Bruins topped the 20-point mark, led by senior Thea Lemberger with 25. Senior Atonye Nyingifa scored 24, while sophomore Nirra Fields added 20 and 10 rebounds. It was Fields' second double-double of her career. The first occurred last season--also in a win over Pepperdine.
The Waves were led by junior Bria Richardson with 25, including 17 in the second half. Sophomore Amanda Lovely and freshman Allie Green each grabbed seven rebounds off the bench.
UCLA used a three-pointer by Lemberger to take a 4-2 lead that they did not relinquish. Lemberger added another from beyond the arc the next trip up the court to spark a 9-0 run. The lead reached a game-high 14 before the Waves were able to cut their halftime deficit to five, 38-33.
The Bruins opened the second half on a 7-0 run to regain control before the Waves mounted a comeback behind Richardson and defensive pressure that held UCLA to 35.0 percent shooting over the final 20 minutes. Pepperdine cut the UCLA lead to two with 10 seconds remaining before Lemberger iced the contest at the free throw line. The guard converted 12 straight to close the game.
The Waves held a slight advantage shooting from the field, as they converted 42.6 percent to the Bruins' 40.0 percent. Pepperdine also made four three-pointers to the Bruins' three (all by Lemberger).
The Bruins next play Sunday at home versus the No. 12 North Carolina Tar Heels. The game will tip off at 3:00 p.m. and air on the Pac-12 Networks.
Pepperdine at No. 25 UCLA
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