Nov. 19, 2004
Miami, Fla. - The UCLA women's basketball team fell short in the season opener at the Miami Jam, losing to Texas Christian, 65-60. After falling behind by 15 with nine minutes to play, the Bruins rallied to pull within five, with 51 seconds to play on a three-pointer by Noelle Quinn but ran out of time in the end.
The difference in the game was TCU's three-point shooting. The Horned Frogs shot 52% from beyond the arc, hitting 11-21 threes. Leading the way was Ashley Davis, who made 5-6 three-pointers and scored a career-high tying 17 points on the day. UCLA managed to hold All-American Sandora Irvin to just eight points, but she had a game-high 13 rebounds. The Bruins shot just 33% from the field and were 26% (5-19) from the three-point line.
UCLA led at halftime, 32-31, and made 13 steals in the first period alone. The Bruins finished with 18 steals in the game and forced 30 turnovers.
The Bruins were led by Lisa Willis, who totaled 15 points. Noelle Quinn contributed 14 points and was hampered by leg cramps in the second half. Amanda Livingston also scored in double-figures, knocking in 10 points. Lindsey Pluimer was UCLA's leading rebounder with nine and added four points. Nikki Blue, who had seen limited practice the past few weeks due to an ankle injury, finished with just three points but had seven assists.
"They started hitting threes, which spread us out a little," said UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier. "Nikki (Blue) wasn't 100 percent - she hasn't been practicing much because of her ankle injury. Noelle (Quinn) went down in the second half with bad cramps. Things like that hurt us, but our bench did a good job. We just needed to pick it up sooner than we did defensively."
"This team has high expectations, and they were a little tight and a little tense," she continued. "We need to have a little more focus inside and get some easy shots. We had some easy shots in the first half when our defense created our offense, but in the second half, we had to earn every single shot."
UCLA will next face the winner of the Miami/Gardner-Webb game in the consolation game of the Miami Jam. That game will take place on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 12 pm ET. The game will be broadcast live over the internet on www.uclabruins.com via the College Sports Pass.