Nov. 30, 2002
Las Vegas, NV - The UCLA women's basketball team won its opening game at the UNLV Lady Rebel Shootout, defeating Northwestern State, 82-74. Four Bruins scored in double figures, led by senior guard Michelle Greco's 18 points (7-11 shooting). Freshman forward Julia Pitts recorded a double-double, posting 16 points (6-7 shooting) and 11 rebounds. Also scoring in double-digits were Nikki Blue with 15 points and seven rebounds, and Gennifer Arranaga off the bench with 13 points.
The Bruins (2-1) never trailed in the contest and closed the first half with a 19-3 run after the Lady Demons (1-1) cut UCLA's lead to 24-23 with 6:46 to play. Arranaga keyed the Bruins' spurt with six points early in that stretch. UCLA entered halftime leading 43-26 and quickly extended the lead in the second half, outscoring Northwestern State 8-2 in the first two and a half minutes.
A three-point onslaught by Amanda Bennett and Diamond Crosby late in the game cut UCLA's lead to four points at 78-74 with 53 seconds remaining, but Bruin senior guard Natalie Nakase made four clutch free throws to ice the game.
UCLA outshot Northwestern State, 50.8%-38.2% and also won the battle on the boards, 47-35.
Greco's 18 points moved her to 11th on UCLA's all-time scoring list with 1,215 career points. She needs just seven tomorrow to move into UCLA's Top 10.
The Bruins will next face the winner of the UNLV/UTEP game on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4:00 pm for the championship of the Lady Rebel Shootout.