Dec. 23, 2008
DATE: Monday, Dec. 29, 2008
OPPONENT: Texas Tech
SITE: United Spirit Arena (15,050)
TIP-OFF: 7:00 p.m. CT/ 5:00 PT
TV: Texas Tech Television Network
TALENT: Dave Marcus
UCLA at Texas Tech Dec. 29
UCLA (9-1) will complete its non-conference slate of games with a trip to Lubbock, TX to meet Texas Tech (7-4) on Dec. 29.
Texas Tech, which counts a loss to Cal (68-54) among its four setbacks, has won its last two games at home against Prairie View A&M (72-55) on Dec. 18 and Sacramento State (83-46) on Dec. 20. All seven Tech wins have come on their home floor where they are averaging over 8,000 fans per game. The Lady Raiders are led by 6-2 senior forward Dominic Seals who is averaging 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds.
The Bruins and Lady Raiders last met at a Hawaii Tournament in Nov. of 2006 where Tech captured a 75-60 decision. Tech leads the overall series 4-0. UCLA has played once before in the United Spirit Arena. The Bruins bested North Carolina in a tournament which marked the opening of the arena in Nov. of 1999.
Bruins Off To Best Start In 28 Years
UCLA has won seven straight games and, with a 9-1 record, is off to its best start to a season since the 1980-81 squad won its first 12 games. The last time a Bruin team won as many as seven in a row was in the 2002-03 season, and the last time a Bruin team won more than seven in a row was in the 1998-99 season, when it captured wins in 10 straight contests.
UCLA Amongst Nation's Best
UCLA is nationally ranked in rebounding and scoring offense in the latest NCAA rankings. The Bruins dropped down to second in rebound margin (+15.2) after three weeks atop the leader board. UCLA is also 13th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 77.2 points per game and 17th in steals with a 12.3 average. The Bruins' won-lost percentage of 90% ranks 17th in the nation. Chinyere Ibekwe ranks 41st in rebounding with a 9.5 average, and Doreena Campbell is 15th in free throw percentage (90.6%) and 43rd in assist/turnover ratio (1.87).
In the latest RPI at collegerpi.com, UCLA ranks 21st, and in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll, the Bruins are receiving votes.
Bruins Bang Boards
UCLA has been exceptional on the rebounding front, averaging 47.5 rebounds per game to lead the Pac-10 Conference. UCLA also leads the Pac-10 in rebound margin and ranks second nationally with a +15.2 advantage. The Bruins outrebounded their first nine opponents this season and have recorded 50+ rebounds in six of 10 games.
Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in eight of the team's 10 games, posting four double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF, a career-high 15 vs. CSUN, 12 vs. Nevada, 12 at Rice). She is ranked third in the conference in rebounding (her sister Ify Ibekwe from Arizona is the Pac-10 leader) with an average of 9.5 and was also tied for first with her sister in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds with an average of 4.3. As a team, UCLA leads the conference in offensive rebounding at 20.1 per contest.
UCLA has held its opponents to an average of 59.6 points per game this season. It has kept opponents to under 60 points in five of its last seven games (55.9 avg.), with a low of 47 scored by Nevada. When Kansas and Rice each scored 64 points in the last two games, 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. The last seven opponents have combined to shoot 34.4% from the field (133-387).
Sharing the Scoring
In 10 games, the Bruins have had seven different scoring leaders. Sharing the honors of high scorer have been Moniquee Alexander (12 v. CSUF), Chinyere Ibekwe (15 v. Pepperdine), Doreena Campbell (16 at Rice, 18 v. San Diego, 25 at Maryland), Nina Earl (12 v. Kansas, tied with Nzekwe; 12 at Cal Poly), Erica Tukiainen (16 v. CSUN), Christina Nzekwe (12 v. Kansas, tied with Earl; 13 v. CSUB, tied with Campbell), Darxia Morris (10 v. Nevada). The Bruins, who began the week ranked 13th nationally in scoring (77.2 ppg avg.), have had four games in which all active players have scored.
Pac-10 Ranked Top-10 Bruins
In games through Dec. 21, Chinyere Ibekwe ranked third in the Pac-10 conference in rebounding with a 9.5 mark and tied for first in offensive rebounds with a 4.3 average. She was fifth in defensive rebounding at 5.2 and tied for sixth in blocked shots (1.0). Doreena Campbell was fourth in assists (4.3), third in assist/turnover ratio (1.9) and third in FT shooting percentage (.906). Darxia Morris was ninth in assists (3.4) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.1). Christina Nzekwe was eighth in field goal percentage (.519), 11th in offensive rebounds (2.4) and ninth in steals (1.8).
As a team, the Bruins are first in scoring (77.2), third in scoring margin (+17.6), third in field goal percentage defense (.371), fifth in scoring defense (59.6), first in rebounding (47.5), fourth in rebounding defense (32.3), first in rebound margin (+15.2) and offensive rebounds (20.1), third in defensive rebounds (27.4), fourth in turnover margin (+3.7), third in blocked shots (3.3) and second in steals (12.3).
Shot of A Lifetime
At every home game, one lucky fan will have an opportunity to win an escalating prize of at least $100,000 at every UCLA women's basketball home game in the halftime contest "Shot of a Lifetime".
Fans can sign up to participate prior to tipoff 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 is currently at $170,000.
Free Tickets, Full Ride
UCLA students will have an opportunity to win a full $21,000 UCLA scholarship in a promotion called "Free Tickets, Full Ride". By attending any of the first 10 regular season women's basketball home games, current UCLA students will accumulate points towards a chance at the scholarship prize. For every game they attend, students will receive 10 points. Attending the Jan. 11 game vs. USC will double their cumulative point total. At halftime of the USC game, one student will be randomly drawn as the winner. The more games you attend, the more chances you have to win.
Game 10: Kansas Recap
UCLA used a 12-0 run midway through the second half to take the lead for good in the contest and held off Kansas for a 67-64 win. Christina Nzekwe, who tied for team-high scoring honors with 12 points, sank two free throws with 27 seconds remaining to help clinch the win. The Bruins survived two last-second three-point attempts by KU before Nzekwe's steal with four seconds remaining sealed the victory. Nina Earl also had 12 points for the Bruins who won their seventh straight game for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
Game 9: Rice Recap
UCLA scored the first 20 points of the game, keeping the Owls off the board for nearly eight minutes, and handed Rice a 82-64 loss in Houston. Doreena Campbell led five Bruins in double digits points with 16. Chinyere Ibekwe had her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. It was the second straight game in which five Bruins hit for double digits.
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.
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.