Dec. 1, 2012
Sunday, Dec. 2
2:05 p.m. - Loyola Marymount (5-3) at No. 19/21 UCLA (3-1)
Both of the entire staffs of UCLA and Loyola Marymount will participate in the "Barefoot for Bare Feet" game on Sunday, Dec. 2, by coaching barefoot. They will be doing this to raise awareness of the millions of children around the world who don't have shoes.
This Sunday, the UCLA women's basketball team will be capturing the spirit of giving by hosting a shoe drive before the LMU game with Samaritan's Feet. UCLA is asking fans to bring men's and women's shoes from size 2 all the way to size 14. The Bruins have a goal to deliver 200 pairs of new athletic shoes and socks to children in need. UCLA will be delivering these shoes on Dec. 10 to the Lifeline Charter School in Compton, Calif. Last year, the team personally distributed shoes to children in Philadelphia at the recreation center that senior guard/forward Markel Walker learned to play basketball. This year, the Bruins have shifted their focus locally to the charter school (grades 6-8) in Compton, Calif. All shoes and donations that are collected on Sunday will go towards the shoe distribution. Go to UCLABruins.com to learn how you can donate money or shoes, even if you can't attend the game.
With its win at No. 11 Oklahoma on Nov. 14, the Bruins vaulted into the national rankings in both polls last week, coming in at No. 19 in the AP Top 25 Poll and at No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. This week, UCLA held at No. 19 in the AP Top 25 Poll and moved up a spot to No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bruins have now been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is just the ninth meeting between the Bruins and the Loyola Marymount Lions with UCLA winning all eight previous encounters. UCLA won last year's meeting at LMU, 84-43, on Dec. 4, 2011. Atonye Nyingifa had a career-best 28 points and tied a personal high with 14 rebounds, while four other Bruins were also in double figures in scoring, as UCLA turned a close game early into a late rout. Alex Cowling led the Lions with 19 points and five rebounds. The Bruins are 4-0 all-time against LMU in Pauley Pavilion and 4-0 at LMU.
A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
In all, the Bruins will play seven different teams that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago and another seven squads that were selected for the NIT field. Additionally, UCLA could face another NCAA and a NIT squad in the St. John's Tournament 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 the Aztecs in the season-opener. Then the Bruins went to Norman, Okla. for a road test at Oklahoma (Nov. 14), which lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. The Bruins then returned home to host Notre Dame on Nov. 23. The Fighting Irish lost to Baylor in the 2012 NCAA Championship game. UCLA then returned to the hardwood hosting another NCAA Tournament team, Princeton (Nov. 25). After a non-conference game with a local foe, Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2), the Bruins will travel to Houston's Reliant Stadium with the men's team for a double-header against Texas. The Longhorns also made the NCAA Tournament last year. Then the Bruins travel to New York to compete in their only regular-season tournament (St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic), hosted by St. John's on Dec. 15-16, which lost in the NCAA Regional Semifinals. The Bruins open the tournament with Saint Mary's, which made the NIT in 2012. The Bruins conclude their 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.