Feb. 6, 2005
Los Angeles, Calif. - The UCLA women's basketball team outscored Washington State 10-5 in the final 3:20 to defeat the Cougars in a close contest, 68-63. The victory was UCLA's fourth in its last five games and improved the Bruins' record to 15-7, 9-4 in the Pac-10. Washington State dropped to 5-17, 1-12.
UCLA junior guard Nikki Blue led all players with 22 points and also added seven assists, six steals and five rebounds in 40 minutes of play. Junior guard Lisa Willis had her third double-double of the season, scoring 16 points with 10 rebounds, six steals and four assists. Amanda Livingston joined them in double figures with 11 points.
Turnovers and poor shooting plagued a sluggish UCLA squad in the first half, particularly in the latter stages of the period. The Bruins held five five-point leads before the Cougars took a 25-24 lead at 3:54 on an Adriane Ferguson three-pointer. Jessica Perry's three-pointer at 1:28 gave Washington State its biggest lead, 33-27, at the tail-end of an 11-3 run. Washington State outrebounded UCLA in the half, 27-18.
UCLA came back quickly in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 11-2 over the first four and a half minutes to take a 40-37 lead, but the Bruins were unable to shake the Cougars. The two teams tied six times in the second half, thanks in large part to timely three-point shooting by Ariana Scales and Jessica Perry. Scales had three three-pointers and 13 of her 18 points in the half. A pair of Nikki Blue free throws at 3:40 allowed UCLA to take a four-point lead, 56-52, but again the Cougars brought it back to a tie. Lisa Willis' basket with 2:15 to play extended the lead to 62-58, and free throws from Livingston and Blue gave UCLA its biggest lead, eight points, at 66-58 with 26 seconds to play.
A Scales three-pointer kept the Cougars alive with 15 seconds left, but Willis made one of two free throws, and Lindsey Pluimer knocked away a pass to force a Cougar turnover. Blue made one free throw with 6.1 seconds left to ice the win.
Ferguson led the Cougars with 19 points and also had nine rebounds. Scales scored 18, and Perry 10. Kate Benz's 12 rebounds and Keisha Moore's 11 boards helped the Cougars win the battle on the boards, 50-38.
The Bruins take to the road next week to face Arizona on Feb. 10 and Arizona State on Feb. 12.