Feb. 27, 2003
Los Angeles, CA - Freshman guard Nikki Blue led six Bruins in double figures Thursday night with 17 points as UCLA defeated Oregon State 82-71 in Pauley Pavilion. It marked the first time six Bruins had scored in double digits since a 108-75 victory at Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 17, 1999. The win upped the Bruin record to 16-10 overall and 11-6 in the Pac-10 conference.
UCLA broke a 10-10 tie by scoring the next 10 points in the contest, six by Blue, to take a 20-10 advantage at the 11:51 mark and never trailed again. The Bruins went on to lead by as many as 13 points before settling for a 42-32 lead at the half.
Oregon State outscored the Bruins 10-3 to start the second half and narrowed the UCLA lead to 47-42 with 16:07 remaining. The visiting Beavers cut the margin to as little as four points, 50-46, at the 13:44 mark, thanks to eight straight points by guard Leilani Estavan, and still trailed just 58-53 with 8:55 to play, but could not get closer.
Bruin senior All-America candidate Michelle Greco totaled 16 points while Whitney Jones, Natalie Jarrett (career high) and Lisa Willis each added 11 points. Jamila Veasley scored 10 points and was the sixth Bruin in double digits. Blue also added game-high totals in assists with six and in steals with four. Greco, who had two steals in the game, moved in to a tie for third place in career steals by a Pac-10 player with Sonja Henning of Stanford (1988-91). Each player has 280 career steals.
Estavan finished with a game high total of 21 points, 13 coming in the first half, for Oregon State, which fell to 14-12 and 8-9 in Pac-10 play. OSU's Casey Bunn added 13 points and a game high 10 rebounds.
UCLA returns to action on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Oregon in a game which will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net. The game is the final regular season contest for UCLA, which has clinched the fourth seed in next week's Pac-10 tournament in San Jose.
Note: The UCLA-Oregon women's basketball game on Saturday will feature a special promotion to help raise money for the Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA. If 5,000 or more fans attend this game, UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier will donate $1,000 to the Hospital.