Feb. 22, 2013
Sunday, Feb. 24
2:06 p.m. PT
USC (8-18, 5-10) at No. 16/17 UCLA (20-6, 11-4)
Gametracker | Internet Audio | Radio: KTLK AM 1150
Audio Talent: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Mike Sondheimer (analyst)
TELEVISION: Pac-12 LA
TV Talent: Anne Marie Anderson (play-by-play), Tammy Blackburn (analyst)
No. 16/17 UCLA (20-6, 11-4 Pac-12) hosts crosstown rival, USC (8-18, 5-10) in the home final on "Senior Day" on Sunday (Feb. 24) in Pauley Pavilion at 2:06 p.m. The game will be televised by Pac-12 LA and will also be broadcast live on KTLK AM 1150.
While UCLA is 20-6 overall on the year and 11-4 in the Pac-12, all four conference losses and five of the six defeats this season have been to Top 7 teams in the country. UCLA has lost to No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Notre Dame, at No. 6 Stanford, No. 6 California and at No. 7 California. The Bruins have won at No. 11 Oklahoma, vs. No. 12 Texas (neutral) and at home vs. No. 22 Colorado (3-5 vs. ranked teams). It is the most ranked teams UCLA has faced in one season since 2006-07. That year, the Bruins faced 10 Top 25 teams (1-9 vs. ranked teams).
After dropping two homes games last week to two Top 10 teams No. 6 California (79-51) and No. 4 Stanford (57-68), the UCLA Bruins slid two spots to No. 17 in the AP Top 25 Poll. The USA Today Coaches Poll is released on Tuesdays. UCLA fell one spot to No. 13 in the NCAA Women's Basketball RPI (NCAA.com). The Bruins have been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is the 80th meeting between UCLA and USC with the Trojans leading the series 45-34. While the Bruins have won five of the last seven meetings, USC swept the season series a year ago. But the Bruins are on pace to pull off the sweep this year after the 68-54 win at USC on Tuesday (Feb. 19). In that game, the Bruins led the entire way, cruising to a 27-point lead with seven minutes to go, before the Trojans trimmed it to the final 14-point margin, handing the Trojans their seventh-straight loss. USC shot just 28 percent from the floor, compared to UCLA's 43 percent. The Bruins also won the battle of the boards, 49-40. The Bruins were led by Atonye Nyingifa's game- and season-high 22 points (11-of-14 shooting). USC was led by Cassie Harberts, with 17 points and nine rebounds.
UCLA IN STATISTICAL RANKINGS
UCLA is 3rd in the Pac-12 in scoring (69.0 ppg) and is 4th in the Pac-12 and 25th in the country in rebounding margin (+7.5). The Bruins lead the Pac-12 and rank 23rd in the nation in assists (16.3) and also leads the league in steals (10.9). UCLA is also 3rd in the Pac-12 in rebounds per game (42.9) and 2nd in offensive rebounds (15.8).
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).
Alyssia Brewer has seven double-doubles in her first 24 games, which ranks sixth in the Pac-12. Markel Walker has five double-doubles this season, which ranks ninth 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 three of the 13 Bruins have played in all 26 games this season and nobody has started in more than 23 contests, forcing Head Coach Cori Close to go with 11 different starting lineups. Alyssia Brewer missed most (only played three minutes) of the Pepperdine game (Dec. 28) and missed the entire Saint Joseph's game (Dec. 31) with a right ankle sprain. Most recently, Alyssia Brewer for a total of 68:54.