Dec. 21, 2002
Los Angeles, CA - The UCLA women's basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak with an 88-49 victory over Cal State Northridge in front of 943 in Pauley Pavilion Saturday afternoon. Bruin guard Michelle Greco led all players with 22 points in just 19 minutes of play.
The Bruins forced a season-best 31 turnovers and shot a season-high 55.4% from the field in the winning effort. UCLA pulled away from the Matadors with a 38-8 run to open the second half and kept Northridge scoreless for a six-minute stretch, increasing a 57-39 lead to 77-39 at the 6:58 mark.
In the first half, UCLA jumped out to a 19-9 lead but then saw Northridge come back to tie the score at 23-23 with 6:32 to play after a Kristin Anderson layup. However, the Bruins reclaimed the lead, 37-25, with a 14-2 run that was keyed by Greco, who scored eight points with a steal and a block. The Bruins went into the half up 39-31.
All 14 available players suited for UCLA, with 13 scoring. In addition to Greco's 22 points, freshman guard Nikki Blue added 10 with a team-high eight rebounds and eight assists. Lisa Willis added 11 points and was 3-3 from three-point range. Ofa Tulikihihifo led the Matadors with 17 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and Anderson added 10 points with six rebounds.
The win was much-needed medicine for UCLA, which learned Saturday that freshman forward Julia Pitts will miss the rest of the season with two torn left knee ligaments. Pitts suffered the injury in the first half of the Bruins' game against Baylor of Dec. 19.
The Bruins improve to 5-4 on the year, while Cal State Northridge remains winless at 0-8. UCLA will open up Pac-10 play on Friday, Dec. 27 at Oregon.