March 7, 2009
Corvallis, OR --- The UCLA women's basketball team (18-11, 9-9) dropped a 61-58 dedcision at Oregon State (19-10, 9-9) this afternoon at Gill Coliseum. Freshman guard Rebekah Gardner's last-second shot from the right corner bounced off the rim as the horn sounded ending the Bruin attempt to rally from a double-digit second half deficit. The Beavers have closed the season by winning their last four games to pull into a fourth-place tie with the Bruins in the Pac-10 Conference race.
OSU's Brittney Davis celebrated her own Senior Day by scoring 13 of the Beaver's first 15 points of the first half to help lift the home team to a 36-27 advantage at the break. UCLA, which trailed by as many as 11 in the half, was forced to play without its top three scorers for parts of the period as guards Darxia Morris (at 12:16), Doreena Campbell (at 10:12) and Erica Tukiainen (at 9:29) each picked up their second foul. Despite combining for only 20 minutes, Tukiainen and Morris paced the Bruins with six first-half points each. Twelve first-half turnovers further hurt the Bruin cause.
The Bruins held OSU to just two of nine shooting from the field to start the second half, but could not slice into the Beaver advantage due to six of seven OSU shooting from the free throw line. UCLA picked up its seventh team foul of the half and the fourth personal of the game on Morris, at the 13:17 mark, with Oregon State holding a 44-33 lead.
UCLA narrowed the margin to seven points, 52-45, with 7:00 remaining on a pair of free throws by Tukiainen. However, Oregon State answered right back on a couple of baskets by Tiffany Ducker. The Bruins managed to cut the margin to five points, 58-53, at the 3:28 mark after two free throws by Morris. The Bruins had an opportunity to inch closer after forcing an OSU turnover, but Morris misfired on a jump shot from the free throw line and the Beavers got the rebound. OSU then hit three of four free throw chances to move out to a 61-53 lead. Campbell answered for UCLA on a driving basket in the lane on which she was fouled. After she completed the three-point play with a free throw, UCLA trailed 61-56 with 2:12 to play.
Following an OSU turnover, Morris was fouled on a three-point attempt and converted two of the three attempts to make the score 61-58 with 1:29 to go. OSU then turned the ball over again only to see Morris exit the game on an offensive foul with the clock at 1:15. Oregon State's Talisha Rhea then missed a jumper at the other end of the court, but UCLA could not control the rebound with 46 seconds remaining. After another OSU miss, UCLA took over and came up to half court and called timeout with 22.4 seconds on the clock.
Campbell missed on a running shot in the lane with five seconds remaining, but OSU was called for traveling after grabbing the rebound with 1.8 seconds showing on the clock. Following a Beaver timeout, UCLA inbounded the ball under its basket and Gardner's three-point attempt from the right corner bounced off the rim as the horn sounded.
Morris led UCLA with 16 points before fouling out. Campbell added 14 and Tukiainen wound up with 12.
UCLA will next play on Friday night, Mar. 13, against Oregon State at 7:15 p.m. in the second round of the Pac-10 Tournament which is being held this year at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. The winner of that contest will advance to the Tournament semifinals at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Pac-10 Tournament championship game is set for 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.