Dec. 26, 2012
5:00 p.m. PT
No. 17/18 UCLA (7-2) at Pepperdine (3-7)
No. 17/18 UCLA travels to Pepperdine for a non-conference clash on Dec. 28, which will tip-off at 5:00 p.m. The Bruins will then host Saint Joseph's on Dec. 31 at 1:00 p.m. for their final game of 2012 and the last non-conference tilt.
With its win at No. 11 Oklahoma on Nov. 14, the Bruins vaulted into the national rankings in both polls immediately following, coming in at No. 19 in the AP Top 25 Poll and at No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bruins climbed to No. 17 in the AP Top 25 and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Poll the following week. With its win over No. 12/16 Texas in Houston on Dec. 8, UCLA moved to No. 14 in the AP Poll and No. 17 in the Coaches Poll. UCLA moved up two spots last week to No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and moved up a spot to No. 16 in the Coaches Poll. The Bruins slid to No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 18 in the Coaches Poll this week after the 77-72 setback to Cal State Northridge on Dec. 20. The Bruins have now been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is the 18th meeting between the Bruins and Pepperdine with UCLA leading the series 14-3. UCLA won the last meeting, a 66-55 win in Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 18, 2008. Bruin senior forward Chinyere Ibekwe recorded her third career double-double, scoring 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds against the Waves. Ibekwe hit her first seven shots in the game and seven of eight shots overall. UCLA owned a significant rebound advantage, 50-28, and outshot Pepperdine, 42.3% to 35.3%. Nina Earl joined Ibekwe in double-digits for the Bruins with 14 points. Freshman guard Jazmine Jackson led the Waves with 16 points. Miranda Ayim and Katie Menton each scored 10 points for Pepperdine.
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).
ST. JOHN'S CHARTWELLS HOLIDAY CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Alyssia Brewer was named the St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic (Dec. 15-16) MVP after leading the Bruins to the championship. She averaged 13.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game at the Tournament. But she was the only Bruin to average a double-double last week as Markel Walker joined her on the All-Tournament team, averaging 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. Jasmine Dixon was the final All-Tournament team selection from UCLA as she hit the game-winning basket in overtime to hand the Bruins a 53-52 win in the title game at St. John's. Dixon averaged 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in the two games.
Alyssia Brewer has six double-doubles in the first nine games, which ranks 2nd in the Pac-12 and 17th in the country. She has had double-doubles in her last five games. Markel Walker has three double-doubles this season, which ranks seventh 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 five of the 13 Bruins have played in all nine games of the 2012-13 season, forcing Head Coach Alyssia Brewer have started and played all nine games. Alyssia Brewer, but they have only been on the court at the same time for 32:55.
The Bruins will face eight different teams in 2012-13 that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago and another seven squads that were selected for the NIT field. The non-conference slate is one of the toughest in school history and rivals that of any school in 2012-13. The Bruins opened the season with four straight NCAA Tournament teams, which started with a win over the San Diego State Aztecs in the season-opener. Then the Bruins went to Norman, Okla., and knocked off the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, which lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year to St. John's. The Bruins then returned home and fell No. 5 Notre Dame on Nov. 23. The Fighting Irish lost to Baylor in the 2012 NCAA Championship game. UCLA then returned to its winning ways, hosting another NCAA Tournament team, Princeton (Nov. 25). After a non-conference victory over local foe, Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2), the Bruins traveled to Houston's Reliant Stadium with the men's team for a double-header against No. 12 Texas. After a 20-point upset win over the Longhorns, which also made the NCAA Tournament last year, the Bruins headed to New York to compete in their only regular-season tournament (St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic). The Bruins opened the tournament with a win over Saint Mary's (Dec. 15), which made the NIT in 2012. UCLA won the title game at St. John's on Dec. 16. The Red Storm lost in the NCAA Regional Semifinals last year. UCLA concludes its nonconference slate by hosting a pair of NIT teams from last year in Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20) and St. Joseph's (Dec. 31). Sandwiched between those two games is a local trip to Pepperdine (Dec. 28), before starting Pac-12 Conference play.