Dec. 30, 2008
GAME #12 DATE: Jan. 2, 2009
OPPONENT: Oregon State
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 7 p.m.
GAME #13 DATE: Jan. 4, 2009
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 2 p.m.
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Tracy Murray, Mike Sondheimer
Bruins Kick Off Conference Play
UCLA (9-2) will open up Pac-10 Conference play with a Friday night date against Oregon State (9-1) in Pauley Pavilion at 7 p.m. UCLA will host Oregon (3-7) on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
The Bruins had a seven-game winning streak snapped in a 72-62 loss on Dec. 29 at Texas Tech. The last time a Bruin team had 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 will meet an Oregon State team which is also off to a terrific start and has won its last six games. The lone blemish on the Beavers' 9-1 overall mark is an 82-78 loss to No. 2-ranked North Carolina at a tournament in the Bahamas. OSU is led by sophomore guard Talisa Rhea who is scoring at a 15.5 ppg clip (No. 2 in Pac-10) and is averaging almost three made three-point shots (No. 1 in Pac-10) per contest. OSU allows the fewest points in the conference at 50.4 and leads the league in scoring margin (+24.7).
Bruins Off To Great Start
UCLA is off to its best start to a season since the 1980-81 squad won its first 12 games, The Bruins have won as many as nine pre-season non-conference games for the first time since the start of play in the Pac-10 Conference for women's basketball in 1986-87. The best previous total was eight wins in the Elite Eight season of 1998-99.
UCLA Amongst Nation's Best
UCLA is nationally ranked in rebounding and scoring offense in the latest NCAA rankings (Dec. 22). The Bruins dropped down to second in rebound margin (+15.2) after three weeks atop the leader board. UCLA was also 13th nationally in scoring offense with an average of 77.2 points per game and 17th in steals with a 12.3 average. Chinyere Ibekwe ranked 41st in rebounding with a 9.5 average, and Doreena Campbell was 15th in free throw percentage (90.6%) and 43rd in assist/turnover ratio (1.87).
Bruins Bang Boards
UCLA has been exceptional on the rebounding front, beginning the week with an average of 46.9 rebounds per game to lead the Pac-10 Conference (Dec. 30 rankings). UCLA also leads the Pac-10 in rebound margin with a +14.5 mark. The Bruins outrebounded their first nine opponents this season and have recorded 50+ rebounds in six of 11 games.
Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in eight of the team's 11 games, posting four double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF, a career-high 15 vs. CSUN, 12 vs. Nevada, 12 at Rice). She began the week ranked third in the conference in rebounding (her sister Ify Ibekwe from Arizona is the Pac-10 leader) with an average of 9.2. As a team, UCLA began the week leading the conference in offensive rebounding at 19.6 per contest.
UCLA has held its opponents to an average of 60.7 points per game this season. Texas Tech became just the second team to score more than 64 points against the Bruins this season. Both times the Bruins have lost (88-65 at Maryland and 72-62 at Tech).
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.
Sharing the Scoring
In 11 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. Texas Tech, 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 Bruins
In games through Dec. 30, Chinyere Ibekwe ranked third in the Pac-10 conference in rebounding with a 9.2 mark and tied for second in offensive rebounds with a 4.2 average. She was tied for fourth in defensive rebounding at 5.0 and sixth in blocked shots (1.1). Doreena Campbell was tied for fourth in assists (4.2), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.5) and fourth in FT shooting percentage (.906). Darxia Morris was eighth in assists (3.4) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.0). Christina Nzekwe was eighth in field goal percentage (.542) and tied for eighth in steals (1.9).
As a team, the Bruins began the week second in scoring (75.8), fourth in scoring margin (+15.1), fifth in field goal percentage defense (.380), first in rebounding (46.9), fourth in rebounding defense (32.4), first in rebound margin (+14.5) and offensive rebounds (19.6), third in defensive rebounds (27.3), fifth in turnover margin (+2.7), third in blocked shots (3.4) and second in steals (11.9).
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 for the Oregon State game.
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 11: Texas Tech Recap
UCLA dropped a 72-62 decision at Texas Tech which snapped a seven-game win streak. UCLA was led by Erica Tukiainen who scored a career-high matching 16 points, including four three-point shots. In a game of runs, UCLA led by as many as 14 points in the first half, but the teams went to halftime tied at 33-each.Tech was able to build as much as an 11-point lead with 16 minutes to play as UCLA got within six points or less five times the rest of the game but could not get back in front.The Bruins were held without a field goal for the final four minutes of the contest.
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.