Dec. 30, 2012
Monday, Dec. 31
1:00 p.m. PT
Saint Joseph's (8-4) at No. 17/18 UCLA (8-2)
No. 17/18 UCLA concludes its non-conference slate and will ring in the new year with a 1:00 p.m. tip-off against Saint Joseph's (Dec. 31) in Pauley Pavilion. Parking is free for the game and fans can use the code "GRANDKIDS" to receive $1 general admission tickets for all kids 16 and under. You can use the code online, over the phone (310-UCLA-WIN) or in person at the box office. Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon for the young and young at heart! Before the game, play the Pauley Pavilion scavenger hunt on the concourse and win a UCLA prize once you've completed the hunt. At halftime, bust out your dance moves and boogie to the new years with a special "lights out" dance party. It is recommended that you park in Lot 7, just steps away from the main Pauley Pavilion entrance (Enter Sunset and Westwood Blvd).
With its win at No. 11 Oklahoma on Nov. 14, the Bruins vaulted into the national rankings in both polls immediately following, coming in at No. 19 in the AP Top 25 Poll and at No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bruins climbed to No. 17 in the AP Top 25 and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Poll the following week. With its win over No. 12/16 Texas in Houston on Dec. 8, UCLA moved to No. 14 in the AP Poll and No. 17 in the Coaches Poll. UCLA then moved up two spots to No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and moved up a spot to No. 16 in the Coaches Poll after going 2-0 on its east coast trip. The Bruins slid to No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 18 in the Coaches Poll last week after the 77-72 setback to Cal State Northridge on Dec. 20. The Bruins have now been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is just the second meeting between the Bruins and Saint Joseph's with the Hawks winning last year's meeting, 64-60, on Dec. 22, 2011 in Philadelphia at Hagan Arena. Markel Walker had 16 points and nine rebounds, all in the second half, Thea Lemberger added 12 points and five boards and Rebekah Gardner posted 10 points and six rebounds. Saint Joseph's, which never trailed, was led by Ashley Prim and Samira Van Grinsven, each scoring 12 points.
CLOSE CALLS ... BRUINS IN OVERTIME
The UCLA Bruins improved to 3-0 under Head Coach Cori Close in overtime games in her two seasons with last week's 53-52 win in overtime at St. John's (Dec. 16). Last season, the Bruins posted back-to-back overtime wins at Colorado (62-54 on Jan. 29, 2012) and at home versus Washington (79-73 on Feb. 2, 2012).
Markel Walker has three double-doubles this season, which ranks seventh in the Pac-12. Additionally, the two Bruins have had double-doubles in the same game three times this season. Walker had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the 86-66 win over Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2) while Brewer had 14 points and 11 rebounds against the Lions. Walker later had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the 76-62 win over Saint Mary's (Dec. 15) as Brewer chipped in 12 points and 10 boards against the Gaels. In the loss to Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20), Brewer had 14 points and 12 rebounds with Walker adding 12 points and 12 boards.
MISSING IN ACTION
Only five of the 13 Bruins have played in all 10 games of the 2012-13 season and nobody has started in all of those contests, forcing Head Coach Markel Walker and Alyssia Brewer, but they have only been on the court at the same time for a total of 32:55.
The Bruins will face eight different teams in 2012-13 that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago and another seven squads that were selected for the NIT 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 a win over the San Diego State Aztecs in the season-opener. Then the Bruins went to Norman, Okla., and knocked off the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, which lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year to St. John's. The Bruins then returned home and fell No. 5 Notre Dame on Nov. 23. The Fighting Irish lost to Baylor in the 2012 NCAA Championship game. UCLA then returned to its winning ways, hosting another NCAA Tournament team, Princeton (Nov. 25). After a non-conference victory over local foe, Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2), the Bruins traveled to Houston's Reliant Stadium with the men's team for a double-header against No. 12 Texas. After a 20-point upset win over the Longhorns, which also made the NCAA Tournament last year, the Bruins headed to New York to compete in their only regular-season tournament (St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic). The Bruins opened the tournament with a win over Saint Mary's (Dec. 15), which made the NIT in 2012. UCLA won the title game at St. John's on Dec. 16. The Red Storm lost in the NCAA Regional Semifinals last year. UCLA suffered a 77-72 setback to an NIT squad in Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20), but rebounded to post a blowout win at Pepperdine (Dec. 28). The Bruins conclude their nonconference slate by hosting another NIT team in Saint Joseph's (Dec. 31), before starting Pac-12 Conference play.