Feb. 24, 2009
GAME #26 DATE: Friday, Feb. 27, 2009
OPPONENT: No. 3/2 Stanford
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 7:00 p.m.
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Michael Sondheimer
TICKETS: $12 adults/$10 youth (Reserved), $8 adults/$6 youth (GA), UCLA students free
Up to 4 free admissions w/ UCLA Rec Card, UCLA Central Ticket Office (310-UCLA-WIN)
GAME #27 DATE: Sunday, Mar. 1, 2009
OPPONENT: No. 4 California
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 12:00 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Net
TALENT: Jim Watson, Ann Meyers-Drysdale
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Michael Sondheimer
TICKETS: $12 adults/$10 youth (Reserved), $8 adults/$6 youth (GA), UCLA students free
UCLA Central Ticket Office (310-UCLA-WIN)
UCLA Hosts Stanford, Cal
The Bruins (16-9, 7-7 in the Pac-10) will play Top 5 opponents in back-to-back games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season when they host No. 3 (AP)/No. 2 (USA Today/ESPN) Stanford (22-4, 13-1) on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7 pm and No. 4 California (22-3, 13-1) on Sunday, Mar. 1 at 12 pm. The UCLA-Cal game, Senior Day for the Bruins, will be televised live nationally on FSN.
UCLA is coming off a road split at the Washington schools. The Bruins lost the opening leg of the trip on Friday to Washington, 59-49, before rebounding on Sunday to defeat Washington State, 65-50. The Bruins played the Huskies without leading scorer Doreena Campbell, who was experiencing blurred vision after suffering a blow to the face during a drill in practice on Wednesday. Campbell returned to the lineup and scored 24 at Washington State.
About The Cardinal
Stanford is currently on a nine-game winning streak. The average margin of victory in those nine games is 22.8 points. The Cardinal swept the Oregon schools at home last weekend, defeating Oregon State 72-43 and Oregon 68-49. Junior post Jayne Appel leads the team in scoring and rebounding with an average of 15.2 points and 9.1 rebounds. She also leads the team with 52 blocks and ranks second with 80 assists.
The Series With Stanford
Stanford leads the series by a 41-22 margin and won the last matchup between the two teams on Feb. 1, 68-51, in Palo Alto.
UCLA is one of the few teams in the Pac-10 to have much success against the Cardinal. In the last eight meetings, the Bruins have captured three victories, including the most recent at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 4, 2008. UCLA earned a 69-56 win in that game, upsetting the then No. 2-ranked Cardinal. It marked the highest AP-ranked team a Bruin squad had ever defeated. The Bruins led by as many as 11 points in the first half before settling for a 38-34 gap at the break. Stanford, which shot 29.6% for the game, misfired on its first seven shots of the second half as the Bruins ran off 12 unanswered points to take a 50-34 lead with 15:40 to play. The Cardinal never got closer than seven points after that. Darxia Morris led UCLA with 20 points.
Stanford has won three straight in the Bay Area since that game, however, beating the Bruins 75-62 on Feb. 2, 2008 at Maples Pavilion, 78-45 in the semifinals of the Pac-10 Tournament in San Jose on Mar. 9, 2008, and 68-51 at Stanford on Feb. 1, 2009.
In the last matchup, the Bruins trailed by just two points at halftime but were outscored 43-28 in the second half as the Cardinal shot 58.6% after the break. Jillian Harmon did most of the damage for the Cardinal, scoring 17 points and pulling down nine rebounds, including seven offensive. Stanford also outrebounded UCLA, 46-34. Doreena Campbell led UCLA with 11 points, and Erica Tukiainen scored 10, all in the first half.
About The Golden Bears
California had a 12-game win streak snapped by Stanford on Feb. 14 but got back on the winning track with big home wins over the Oregon schools (84-42 vs. Oregon and 62-40 vs. Oregon State). The Golden Bears are allowing an average of just 47.4 points in their last five games.
Senior forward Ashley Walker continues to lead the Pac-10 in scoring with a 20.3 points per game average. She also ranks third in the conference in rebounding with an 8.2 average.
The Series With Cal
UCLA leads the series by a 39-14 count, but Cal has won the last four meetings, including the Jan. 29 matchup in Berkeley, 64-48. The Bruins jumped out to an 11-2 lead in that game and led at the half, 23-22. The Golden Bears, however, shot 65% in the second half to pull away. Doreena Campbell led the Bruins with 13 points before fouling out. Erica Tukiainen added 11.
The last time UCLA and Cal met in Los Angeles (Jan. 6, 2008), the Golden Bears won in overtime, 73-70. Darxia Morris, who finished with 14 points, keyed a second-half Bruin comeback from a seven-point halftime deficit by scoring six points in a 10-0 UCLA run midway through the half. However, she went down with a knee injury at the 5:39 mark and the Bruins managed just one field goal the balance of regulation play. Cal tied the score at the 1:45 mark at 65-all, and neither team scored down the stretch.
UCLA's last win in the series came on Dec. 20, 2006 in Pauley Pavilion, a 77-68 overtime victory.
Be Prepared For Overtime
The last three matchups between UCLA and California in Pauley Pavilion have resulted in overtime. Last season, on Jan. 6, Cal won by a score of 73-70 after tying the game with 1:45 to play on a pair of Ashley Walker free throws. In the 2006-07 season, the Bruins posted a 77-68 upset win over the then-No. 15 Golden Bears. Devanei Hampton had the tying basket in regulation, but UCLA outscored Cal 11-2 in extra time. In 2005-06, UCLA won 90-87 after a Lindsey Pluimer put-back tied the score with 12 seconds remaining in regulation.
UCLA will honor its two seniors, Tierra Henderson and Chinyere Ibekwe, in pre-game ceremonies on Sunday against Cal. Henderson and Ibekwe have played in a combined 230 career games with 105 combined starts. They were key contributors on UCLA's 2006 Pac-10 Tournament Championship team that advanced to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament, and this season, Henderson leads the Bruins with a steals average of 1.8, while Ibekwe leads in rebounding with an average of 6.8, numbers that both rank seventh in the Pac-10.
At Friday's game against Stanford, the first 250 fans through the doors will receive free pink UCLA Crocs. And to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day, UCLA and the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Education & Resource Center are giving away free water bottles and pedometers.
On Sunday against California, free team cards will be issued to the first 1,000 in attendance.
Shot of A Lifetime - $240,000
At every home game, one lucky fan will have an opportunity to win an escalating prize of at least $100,000 in the halftime contest "Shot of a Lifetime".
Fans can sign up to participate prior to tip-off inside Gate 16 of Pauley Pavilion, and one contestant will be chosen at random. That lucky fan will have 25 seconds to make (in order) a shot from behind the left elbow, a shot from behind the right elbow, a three-pointer from the top of the key, and a half-court shot. The grand prize for making these four shots in the time limit is at least $100,000. For every game that does not have a winner, the prize value will increase by $10,000. If no one has won the grand prize by the final home game of the season, that game's participant will be shooting for a quarter of a million dollars. The prize will be $240,000 for the Stanford game on Feb. 27.
Game 25: WSU Recap
After a one-game absence due to injury, Doreena Campbell returned to score 24 points with zero turnovers in the Bruins' 65-50 win at Washington State. After misfiring on 12 of its first 15 shots from the field, the Bruins used back-to-back three-point shots by Campbell and Erica Tukiainen to jump out to a 17-9 lead at the 8:14 mark. The shots sparked a 10-2 Bruin run which extended the Bruin lead to 21-11 with 6:40 to play, and the Cougars never got closer than seven points after that.
Game 24: Washington Recap
Playing without leading scorer and point guard Doreena Campbell, the Bruins lost at Washington by a 59-49 score. Campbell sat out the game with an injury and was sorely missed by the Bruins, who trailed at the half, 27-19, after committing 17 turnovers. UCLA took better care of the ball in the second half, with just six turnovers, and grabbed 11 offensive boards in the period but shot just 25.8% in the half and 29.8% overall in the game. Freshman Atonye Nyingifa had career-best numbers, with 14 points, 10 rebounds and five steals for her first career double-double.
Sophomore guard Doreena Campbell has been as consistent as it gets for the Bruins, scoring in double-figures in 12 straight games in which she has played and in 17 games overall. Her lone single-digit point total in Pac-10 play came in the conference opener against Oregon State when she got into early foul trouble and played just 22 minutes, seven below her season average. Campbell has led the Bruins in scoring in 14 games, including a stretch of nine consecutive games from Jan. 4-Feb. 8. Four of her five 20-point games this season have come against Pac-10 opponents (20 vs. USC at home, 20 vs. Washington at home, 20 at USC, 24 at Washington State).
Campbell is currently ranked in six Pac-10 categories - 6th in scoring (13.7), 5th in assists (3.8), 6th in FT% (.814), 4th in 3-pt. FG% (.407), 14th in steals (1.4) and 6th in assist/turnover ratio (1.3).
Nyingifa Steps Up In Pac-10 Play
Freshman Atonye Nyingifa has stepped up her game in Pac-10 Conference play, averaging 7.3 points and 5.4 rebounds in conference games. Nyingifa leads the Bruins in Pac-10 games in rebounds (76) and steals (21) and is shooting 48.7% from the field and 78.8% from the free throw line. By contrast, she averaged just 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in non-conference games. Nyingifa is coming off a week in which she recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, to go along with five steals at Washington. All three numbers were career-highs.
12 Players, 12 Starters
With Allison Taka's start at Washington last Friday, all 12 players on the Bruin roster have started at least one game this season. Only one other school in the Pac-10 (Washington) has every player on the roster with at least one start.
UCLA Amongst Nation's Best
In the latest NCAA rankings (Feb. 22), the Bruins are eighth in rebound margin (+9.7), 21st in steals (11.1 average), 67th in scoring average (68.0), 68th in three-point fg % def (.294), 73rd in scoring margin (7.0), and 86th in field goal % (.414). Doreena Campbell is 68th in free throw % (.814).
Home Sweet Home
The Bruins own a 12-2 record in Pauley Pavilion this year. It is the most wins a UCLA team has posted in Pauley Pavilion since the 1998-99 team went 13-3.
UCLA has won more than 12 home games in Pauley just three other seasons (13 in 1998-99; 12 in 1984-85; 16 in 1980-81; 13 in 1977-78). (note: from 1986 to 1997 UCLA did play some home games in the Wooden Center on campus but never won more than 11 home games).
Bruins Bang Boards
UCLA ranks second in the Pac-10 in caroms per game with a 42.4 average. UCLA also rates second in the Pac-10 and seventh in the nation in rebound margin with a +9.7 mark. The Bruins rank first in the conference in offensive rebounds (17.5/g).
The Bruins won the battle on the boards in the first nine games of the season and versus 20 of the 25 opponents overall. UCLA has recorded 50+ rebounds in seven of the 25 games, including a season-best 55 against USC on Jan. 11.
Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in nine of the team's 25 games, posting five double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF, a career-high 15 vs. CSUN, 12 vs. Nevada, 12 at Rice, 10 v. USC). She began the week ranked seventh in the conference in rebounding with an average of 6.8.
Ibekwe One Board Shy Of 600
With 599 rebounds, Senior Chinyere Ibekwe is one rebound away from totaling 600 in her career. When she grabs that rebound, she will become just the eighth player in UCLA history to record 600 rebounds and 60 blocks for a career.
UCLA's 600 rebound/60 block performers
Player (Years) - Rebounds/Blocks
Denise Curry (1978-81) - 1,310/74
Natalie Williams (1991-94) - 1,137/97
Necie Thompson (1981-83) - 940/101
Maylana Martin (1997-2000) - 935/96
Ann Meyers (1975-78) - 819/101
Sandra VanEmbricqs (1987-90) - 811/95
Lindsey Pluimer (2005-08) - 737/93
The 64-Point Question
The home game against Arizona State marked the ninth time this season an opponent has scored more than 64 points against the Bruins. Seven of UCLA's nine losses, including five on the road have come when the opponent has scored more than 64 points. UCLA has gone 2-7 in those games --- defeated Washington (74-66) and USC (87-75); and lost to Arizona State (69-66), at USC (87-76), at Stanford (68-51), at Arizona State (68-44), to Oregon (73-56), at Maryland (88-65), and at Texas Tech (72-62). An eighth loss this season came at Cal, when the Golden Bears outscored the Bruins 64-48.
This year's squad became just the third UCLA team to have won at least 14 games by Feb. 1 on the calendar --- the 1998-99 team won 17; the 1980-81 team won 19.
The Bruins won as many as nine pre-season non-conference games for the first time since 1986-87, the first year for Pac-10 Conference women's basketball. The best previous total during that stretch was eight wins in 1998-99.
In beating Arizona (1/17) and Washington State (1/22) earlier this season, UCLA put together back-to-back contests in which it limited the opponent to under 50 points for the first time ever in Pac-10 play. The last time UCLA held consecutive opponents to less than 50 points was Dec. 2 and Dec 3, 1988 in games against LMU (61-46) and Northern Arizona (80-46).
On Jan. 17, the Bruins surrendered a season-low 38 points at Arizona. It was the fewest points allowed by a UCLA team since the Bruins defeated Northern Arizona 77-37 on Nov. 28, 1987.
When Rice scored 64 points in a meeting earlier this season in Houston, it snapped a streak of five straight opponents being held under the 60-point mark. The last time UCLA held more than five straight opponents to less than 60 points in a game was in the 1976-77 season, when the Bruins held five and six straight opponents to under 60 points in two different streaks.
Making The Grade
Four members of the Bruin squad made the UCLA Athletic Director's honor roll (3.0 of better with at least 12 graded units) during the Fall 2008 quarter. Junior Allison Taka continues her streak of making the Director's Honor Roll in every quarter of her academic career. Junior Erica Tukiainen has received her sixth honor roll distinction, and junior Moniquee Alexander earned her first. Freshman Rebekah Gardner earned honors in her first quarter.
Dixon Transfers To UCLA
Former McDonald's All-American Jasmine Dixon has transferred from Rutgers to UCLA and will be eligible to compete for the Bruins after the completion of the 2009 Fall Quarter.
Dixon, a 5-11 guard from Long Beach, CA (Long Beach Poly HS), played in five games for Rutgers this season and averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. She had been one of the nation's most highly-honored high school players in her senior season of 2008. She was named first-team prep All-American by Parade Magazine, USA Today, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, EA Sports and ESPN HoopGurlz. In addition, Dixon was tabbed as the 2008 Gatorade California Player of the Year and the LA Times Girls' Basketball Player of the Year. She was listed as the sixth-best player in the nation by All-Star Girls Report and was rated the seventh-best guard and the 26th-best player overall in the class of 2008 by HoopGurlz.com. She went on to play in the 2008 McDonald's All-American game.
Dixon helped lead Long Beach Poly HS to three straight California Division I State titles. She averaged 14.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 3.2 assists per game in her senior season. The new Bruin was named the Southern Section Division I-AA Player of the Year by the Southern California Interscholastic Coaches Association and was twice named the CIF Division I Player of the Year.
Bruins Sign Two For '09-10
Head coach Nikki Caldwell and staff signed two high school standouts, 6-1 forward/guard Markel Walker and 5-4 point guard Mariah Williams, to letters-of-intent during the early period in November. The class is rated as the nation's 14th-best according to ESPN HoopGurlz.
Walker, rated as the No. 4 high school player in the country on the ESPNU HoopGurlz list for the nation's top 100, averaged 16.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game last season for Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, PA. She was the 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania. She is one of 20 high school seniors who have been selected to play in the WBCA All-America game on April 4 in St. Louis, and she has also been selected to represent the East at the McDonald's All-American game on Apr. 1.
Williams, an All-State selection as a junior, attends Aurora, CO Regis Jesuit High School. She averaged 11.5 points, 4.2 assists and 3.3 steals per game last season while shooting 60% from the field and 43% from three-point range. Williams was an honorable mention selection for the WBCA All-America Game.