Feb. 11, 2012
BRUINS AT CARDINAL SUNDAY AT NOON ON FSN
The Bruins (12-11, 7-5 Pac-12) battle conference leader Stanford on Sunday in a nationally televised affair at Noon on FSN. Free audio and live stats will be available at UCLABruins.com. Cori Close's squad then returns to Los Angeles to play at USC on Feb. 19, before landing back in the John Wooden Center for the final two home contests of the season against the Arizona schools.
UCLA's four-game winning streak was stopped in Berkeley on Thursday night by a Cal team which captured its ninth win in its last 10 games.The Bruins sliced all but two points off of a 14-point second half Golden Bear advantage, but came out on the short end of a 67-58 decision. Current Pac-12 Player of the Week Markel Walker had 18 points to lead the Bruins. Rebekah Gardner added 16.
Highlights of the Bruin's four-game winning streak included Walker's triple-double (14 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists) against Washington State. It marked UCLA's first triple in eight years (Noelle Quinn in 2004 at Cal). UCLA rallied from a seven-point deficit (63-56) in the last 50 seconds to win in overtime against Washington. Gardner hit two baskets in the final 14 seconds of regulation to send the game into extra time. UCLA came from four back in the final two minutes to tie Colorado and then went on to win that contest in overtime. UCLA rallied from a nine-point deficit with just under seven minutes remaining to play at Utah and went on a 22-8 run to end the game
PLAYER UPDATES - Gardner seeks 1,000th Career Point
Senior #35 Rebekah Gardner recorded her 11th straight game with double figures in points, with 16 at Cal to move her career scoring total up to 991 as she seeks to become the 26th Bruin to reach the 1,000-point mark. Last week, she registered her seventh 20-point game of the year against Washington State (21).
Gardner leads the Bruins with a 16.0 points per game average and 46 steals (20 in last seven contests), is second with 20 three-pointers and third with a 6.7 rebound per game mark. The Bruins' lone senior, and only player to start all 23 games, has led the team in scoring 11 times and has three double-doubles. Her 82 three-point shots rank 10th on the all-time UCLA list.
Gardner's 11-game double-digit scoring steak: 16 - at Cal, 21 - Wash. State, 17 - Washington, 17 at Colorado, 15 at Utah, 22 points (career-high 15 reb.) v. Oregon,19 v. Oregon State, 20 v. USC, 16 at Arizona State, 12 at Arizona, 17 v. Stanford (Dec. 31).
Gardner has produced at least eight points in all 23 games, at least one steal in 21 of 23 contests (2+ on 15 occasions) and is first on the squad with 19 double-figure scoring games (40 career). She netted a career-high 24 against Tennessee on 9-of-18 shooting and 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. She has at least five boards in 15 games, including 10 of the last 12.
#23 Markel Walker earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors (second of her career) after her performances a week ago against the Washington schools which included UCLA's first triple-double since Noelle Quinn had a triple in the 2004 season at California. Walker had produced double figures in rebounds in nine straight contests, but fell short at Cal with five caroms. In her triple against WSU, she ripped down15 boards to with 14 points and 10 assists (seventh double double of year and 14th of career). She had 14 boards against Washington to go with 16 points, seven assists. She had a game-high and career-high matching 24 points at Colorado. Walker had 10 rebounds,14 points at Utah. She has climbed into 18th place on the all-time UCLA rebound list (see chart on page three of release).
Walker grabbed a career-best 18 rebounds against Oregon State and was one assist shy of a triple-double, adding nine assists with 16 points. During her double-figure rebounding streak, Walker had 14 against USC, 13 at Arizona State and 12 versus Arizona. Of her 169 rebounds, 70 have come on the offensive end, as she is first on the team with 10.6 rpg (at least five in every game), third with 13.3 ppg, tied for the team lead with 66 assists and second with 37 steals. Walker has scored in double figures in 14 of 16 contests and has a steal in every game (2+ on 12 occasions), producing a season high against California (Dec. 29) with four steals and 18 points. She has at least four assists on nine occasions this year.
#1 Thea Lemberger is another of a Bruin quartet that is averaging double figures in points, coming in at 12.3 ppg, which is fourth on the club after hitting double digits in the last six games. She is also first on the team with 35 three-pointers and tied for first with 66 assists and 17 double-figure scoring games. The sophomore had 10 points at Berkeley, including a big three with 2:59 to play which cut what had once been a 14-point Cal advantage to two. She added 14 points versus WSU. She scored 15, all after halftime, in the overtime victory over Washington and 13 points at Colorado. She had 13 points and matched a career high with six assists at Utah. Lemberger had 18 points and a career-best four three-pointers against Oregon.
The sophomore is averaging 14.2 ppg during Pac-12 play, producing nine double-figure games, including two with over 20. She had 22 at Arizona State and went for a career-high 26 against California (7-of-11 fg, 3-of-6 3pt, 9-of-10 ft) in the conference opener. Lemberger had six assists against Tennessee and has at least four helpers in nine contests. Beyond the arc, she has at least one trey in 18 of her 23 contests.
#5 Mariah Williams shares the team lead with 66 assists. She handed out four assists in the win over Washington State to maintain her team lead in the category. She registered 11 points against Washington on a perfect shooting night (4-4 fg, 3-3 ft, 3-3 3pt.). Her back-to-back baskets in the overtime period lifted the Bruins to a six-point lead with 1:43 to play. At Utah, she produced a career-high 21 points, going 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in a career-high 37 minutes.
Williams has started 19 straight games (21 total) and has a 4.8 ppg average and 26 steals, third on the club. The junior had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, four rebounds and three steals against USC. She tied a season high with six assists at Arizona State and has produced at least four assists in nine contests this season. The junior also had six assists against McNeese State. Williams has two other contests with at least 10 points, posting 13 at LMU and 11 versus San Diego State.
#34 Corinne Costa had played 20-plus minutes in 13 straight games until foul trouble helped to halt the streak at Cal (17 min.). She is averaging 7.0 ppg (63), 5.0 rpg (45), 2.6 blocks (23) per game over her last nine contests. Her 45 blocked shots this year rank second on the Bruins all-time season list and are the most by a UCLA player since the 1980-81 season (Necie Thompson-53).
Costa scored six, with one board, one block at Cal. She had eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes of action against WSU. Costa scored a career-best 13 points versus Washington and matched her own school record total of seven blocked shots. The sophomore pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds at Colorado. She added 10 points against Oregon, to go with four blocks. Costa put up six points, five rebounds against USC and eight points, seven rebounds at Arizona. She is averaging 4.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg on the year.
Costa set a UCLA single-game record with seven blocks earlier this season in the first meeting with California, which broke Natalie Williams' record of six set on March 6, 1992 against Arizona. She has at least one block in 21 of 23 games (2+ nine times) and at least one in 14 straight (25 total).
#20 Rhema Gardner continued to do the little things well and had six boards (tied for game leader), four points, three steals at Cal. She recorded eight points and seven rebounds in the win over Washington State. She collected five boards versus Washington and pulled down seven caroms at Colorado. Gardner had her second-highest scoring output of the season against Oregon State, posting nine points to go with four assists and a career-high three steals. Gardner is averaging 4.0 ppg and 4.2 rpg this season, adding 13 blocks, which is second on the squad. The sophomore has at least five rebounds in nine games. She had her career best in rebounds against Colgate (10). Gardner's personal high in points happened versus McNeese State when she poured in 18 on 5-of-7 shooting and 7-of-10 from the free throw line. Gardner has five other games with at least five points, including nine against San Diego State. Defensively, she has a block in 10 games, including three against Cal and two versus USC.
#10 Kacy Swain is averaging 2.7 ppg and 1.6 rpg in 20 contests. Swain scored two with a block at Cal. She totaled four points, two rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal versus WSU. She scored six points against Washington. The freshman recorded four points, four rebounds (tied season high) against Oregon State. In her third start of the year, Swain recorded two rebounds in 16 minutes against USC. She had two blocks at home against Cal and two points and a board in 14 minutes of action versus Stanford. The freshman's season best in points came against Tennessee Tech (9). Swain matched her season-high of four rebounds against West Virginia on Nov. 25. Freshman walk-on #3 Madeline Brooks has seen action in seven games. She played a career-high 16 minutes against Oregon, knocking down a three-pointer and grabbing a rebound. She made her collegiate debut against Colgate. She had two points at LMU and played the final minute of the Dec. 31 game against Stanford.
Atonye Nyingifa, who had 14.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 11 blocks and 18 steals in nine games, tore her right ACL against Tennessee (Dec. 17) and will miss the remainder of the season. The redshirt junior had seven double-figure scoring contests and five double-doubles. Nyingifa poured in a career-best 28 and tied a personal high with 14 rebounds against LMU.
Moriah Faulk, tore her left ACL against Arizona State (Jan. 7) and will miss the rest of the year. The freshman came off the bench in 15 contests, averaging 5.7 ppg and totaling 15 three-pointers. She had multiple treys in five games, including a perfect 3-for-3 at LMU when she had a season-best 11 points, six rebounds and four steals in 14 minutes. Faulk also had double-figure games with 10 against both McNeese State and Baylor.
POINTS OF INTEREST
Markel Walker is not ranked in the overall Pac-12 stats, due to her lacking the necessary 75% game participation rate, but in conference game stats she began the week near the top in several categories - Scoring eighth (13.4); second with 12.1 rpg, first offensive rpg (4.6), second defensive rpg (7.5), tied for sixth in steals (2.3) 11th in assist/turnover (1.1) and second in apg (4.6).
The last Bruin player to end a season with a double-digit rebounding average was Kisa Hughes (1994-95, 10.4).
UCLA set a single-game school record with 13 blocks against California on Dec. 29, which broke the previous mark of 12 on Dec. 4, 1980 against Texas A&M. UCLA is 10-1 when leading at the half, with the only loss coming at Arizona ... The Bruins have won three games (UW, at Colorado, at Utah), in their recent four-game streak, when trailing at the five minute mark, their first such wins this season (now 3-8).