SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- UCLA earned its first road win of the season with a 56-55 win at San Diego State at Viejas Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Thea Lemberger broke a 45-45 tie with a three-pointer at the 7:53 mark of the second half and the Bruins led for the remainder of the game. San Diego State had one last attempt to tie the game with a pair of free throws with :05 to go, trailing 56-54. Ahjaliee Harvey made the first, but missed the second and Nirra Fields secured the rebound for UCLA.
The Aztecs had to foul but it was only their sixth of the half. Lemberger successfully inbounded the ball with :02.2 remaining to Luiana Livulo (six points, three rebounds). Livulo's free throw veered off the right side of the rim and San Diego State couldn't retrieve it fast enough to get off a potential game-winning shot.
The Bruins (4-5) held a 34-29 lead at the break by outshooting the Aztecs from the floor, 48.1% to 38.7% in the first half. SDSU (1-6) kept it close throughout the first half by owning the boards, 24-10.
San Diego State dominated the glass, outrebounding UCLA 45-25 for the game. The Aztecs outshot the Bruins from the floor as well (40.4% to 39.3). The Bruins won the game by taking care of the ball and converting on points off turnovers. UCLA committed a season-low 10 turnovers, compared to SDSU's 23 miscues, which led to the Bruins having a 21-12 edge in points off turnovers and a 10-4 advantage in fast break points.
The Aztecs scored the first five points of the game, but UCLA responded with a 13-0 run to take a 13-5 lead on a layup by Fields at the 14:35 mark of the first half. Neither team led by more than five points in the second half and the game had five ties and five lead changes.
UCLA was led by Fields' game-high 18 points. She also added four rebounds, two assists, one block and a game-high four steals. Lemberger added 11 points and a season-high eight assists (one shy of tying her career best). Senior Atonye Nyingifa had another solid effort with 13 points, three steals and a game-high-tying eight rebounds.
Cierra Warren had 12 points and eight boards for San Diego State. Danesha Long led the Aztecs with 13 points.
The Bruins again only dressed seven players as junior Madeline Brooks made the second start of her career. She drained a couple of three-pointers and ended the game with six points, one rebound, one assist and one steal.
The Bruins continue their streak of seven straight games away from home with two more contests at the Subway Classic in Minneapolis, Minn., next week. UCLA opens with a game at Minnesota on Dec. 20 (10:00 a.m. PT) and then faces Auburn on Dec. 21 (Noon PT).
UCLA at San Diego State