Nov. 13, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Senior Rebekah Gardner had personal highs in points (21) and rebounds (10) for her first career double-double, while junior Atonye Nyingifa posted her second straight double-double with 16 points and a career-best 14 rebounds, as the 22nd-ranked Bruins defeated Tennessee Tech 74-52 on Sunday at the John Wooden Center in the second round of the Preseason WNIT.
The Bruins, who haven't trailed in either of their first two wins this season or their exhibition victory, advance to the semifinals of the tournament, where they will face top-ranked Baylor on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. PT. The Golden Eagles fall to 1-1.
Gardner was 7-of-14 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, adding four assists and three steals, while Nyingifa made 6-of-13 from the field. Sophomore Thea Lemberger was in double figures for the second straight game with a career-best 12 points to go with four assists. Freshman Kacy Swain added nine points, freshman Moriah Faulk posted five with five boards and sophomore Rhema Gardner had seven points. The Bruins shot 42.6% (26-for-61) from the field for the contest.
The Bruins scored the first six points of the game on a free throw by Rhema Gardner and a layup and three from Lemberger. UCLA's first double-digit advantage came at the 15:49 mark when it was ahead 12-2. The Golden Eagles scored the next five to get to within five at 12-7, but the Bruins countered with a 6-0 run to go back up by 11 at 18-7 with 11:49 left, as Swain had four of the six points.
Leading 22-13 with less than eight minutes to go, the Bruins went on an 18-3 run to get their lead past 20. Rebekah Gardner had eight of the 18 points during the run, while Nyingifa added four. The Bruins went on to take a 43-20 advantage to the half. Gardner nearly had her double-double in the first half with 12 points and nine rebounds. Lemberger added nine points, Nyingifa posted eight and five boards and Swain notched six. The Bruins shot 51.6% (16-of-31) from the field in the first half.
The Golden Eagles could only get as close as 16 the rest of the way at 52-36 with 13:39 left, as the Bruins responded with nine straight to bring the lead back to 25 at 61-36. UCLA's advantage remained in the 20's for the rest of the game, reaching as high as 29 with 4:45 to go at 74-45, as the home squad went on to win it 74-52. Gardner had nine points in the second half, while Nyingifa posted eight with nine boards.