Feb. 28, 2013
Friday, Mar. 1
6:02 p.m. MT/5:02 p.m. PT
No. 16/17 UCLA (21-6, 12-4) at Arizona State (13-15, 5-11)
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Anne Marie Anderson (play-by-play), Tammy Blackburn (analyst)
No. 16/17 UCLA (21-6, 12-4 Pac-12) hits the road to close out the 2012-13 regular season this week to the Arizona schools. The Bruins' first stop will be at Arizona State (13-15, 5-11) for a 6:02 p.m. MT/5:02 p.m. MT tip-off in Wells Fargo Arena on the Pac-12 Networks on Friday, Mar. 1. UCLA will then be at Arizona (12-15, 4-12) on Sunday (Mar. 3) for a 1:00 p.m. MT/12:00 p.m. PT tip-off.
While UCLA is 21-6 overall on the year and 12-4 in the Pac-12, all four conference losses and five of the six defeats this season have been to Top 7 teams in the country. UCLA has lost to No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Notre Dame, @ No. 6 Stanford, No. 6 California and @ No. 7 California. The Bruins have won at No. 11 Oklahoma, vs. No. 12 Texas (neutral) and at home vs. No. 22 Colorado (3-5 vs. ranked teams). It is the most ranked teams UCLA has faced in one season since 2006-07. That year, the Bruins faced 10 Top 25 teams (1-9 vs. ranked teams).
After sweeping cross-town rival USC last week, at USC (68-54) and at home (63-58), the UCLA Bruins held firm at No. 17 in the AP Top 25 Poll and stayed at No. 16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. UCLA fell four spots to No. 17 in the NCAA Women's Basketball RPI (NCAA.com). UCLA has been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is the 74th meeting between UCLA and Arizona State with the Bruins leading the series 48-25. The Bruins have won the last seven overall meetings, including the last three in Tempe, Ariz., by an average of 16.5 points per game. Nirra Fields scored 13 points, Thea Lemberger hit a go-ahead 3-pointer midway through the second half, and UCLA held on to beat Arizona State 54-50 on Jan. 27. UCLA took its first lead with 11:31 remaining in the first half and never trailed again. But the Sun Devils kept it close throughout and tied the game at 38 with 7:59 remaining. Lemberger then hit her 3-pointer to give UCLA the lead back and they held on tightly from there. Janae Fulcher was the only Sun Devil to hit double figures, finishing with 13 points.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT MOVES TO SEATTLE
With its new partnership with Force 10 Sports Marketing, LLC, the Seattle Sports Commission and Seattle Center, the Pac-12 Conference will bring the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament to KeyArena in Seattle in 2013. The new agreement, which runs through 2015, moves the tournament to the first full week in March to strengthen television windows and maximize national exposure. ESPN2 will televise the championship game, while all other games will be carried nationally on the Pac-12 Networks.
BRUINS CLINCH FIRST-ROUND BYE
With Washington's loss to Stanford on Thursday night (Feb. 28), the Bruins clinched a first-round bye in next Week's Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle. With its next victory, or a loss by Colorado, UCLA will also clinch the No. 3 seed for the Pac-12 Tournament.
UCLA IN STATISTICAL RANKINGS
UCLA is 3rd in the Pac-12 in scoring (68.8 ppg) and is 4th in the Pac-12 and 22nd in the country in rebounding margin (+7.3). The Bruins lead the Pac-12 and rank 18th in the nation in assists (16.6) and also leads the league in steals (10.9). UCLA is also 3rd in the Pac-12 in rebounds per game (43.1) and 2nd in offensive rebounds (15.9).
CLOSE CALLS ... BRUINS IN OVERTIME
The UCLA Bruins improved to 3-0 under Head Coach Cori Close in overtime games in her two seasons with last week's 53-52 win in overtime at St. John's (Dec. 16). Last season, the Bruins posted back-to-back overtime wins at Colorado (62-54 on Jan. 29, 2012) and at home versus Washington (79-73 on Feb. 2, 2012).
Alyssia Brewer has seven double-doubles in her first 26 games, which ranks seventh in the Pac-12. Markel Walker has five double-doubles this season, which ranks 10th in the Pac-12. Additionally, the two Bruins have had double-doubles in the same game three times this season. Walker had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the 86-66 win over Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2) while Brewer had 14 points and 11 rebounds against the Lions. Walker later had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the 76-62 win over Saint Mary's (Dec. 15) as Brewer chipped in 12 points and 10 boards against the Gaels. In the loss to Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20), Brewer had 14 points and 12 rebounds with Walker adding 12 points and 12 boards.
MISSING IN ACTION
Only three of the 13 Bruins have played in all 27 games this season and nobody has started in more than 23 contests, forcing Head Coach Nirra Fields missed the upset win at Oklahoma (Nov. 14) due to personal reasons. Thea Lemberger, Alyssia Brewer for a total of 70:05.