Dec. 19, 2012
Thursday, Dec. 20
6:00 p.m. PT
Cal State Northridge (5-4) at No. 12/16 UCLA (7-1)
No. 12/16 UCLA hosts the Cal State Northridge Matadors on Dec. 20, riding a five-game winning streak. The Bruins are fresh off their St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic Championship in New York on Dec. 16 by virtue of beating the hosts, 53-52, in overtime. The Bruins have will return to action after Christmas with a game at Pepperdine on Dec. 28 at 5 p.m. and then will ring in the new year with a home game against St. Joseph's on Dec. 31 at 1:00 p.m.
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 moved up two spots this week to No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and moved up a spot to No. 16 in the Coaches Poll. The Bruins have now been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is the 10th meeting between the Bruins and Cal State Northridge with UCLA leading the series 9-0. UCLA won the last meeting, a 96-53 win in Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 30, 2008. Bruin junior guard Moniquee Alexander tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds. All 12 Bruins scored in the game. Erving had career-highs with 21 points and 13 rebounds for Northridge.
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).
ST. JOHN'S CHARTWELLS HOLIDAY CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Alyssia Brewer was named the St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic (Dec. 15-16) MVP after leading the Bruins to the championship. She averaged 13.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game at the Tournament. But she was the only Bruin to average a double-double last week as Markel Walker joined her on the All-Tournament team, averaging 11.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 7.0 assists per game. Jasmine Dixon was the final All-Tournament team selection from UCLA as she hit the game-winning basket in overtime to hand the Bruins a 53-52 win in the title game at St. John's. Dixon averaged 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in the two games.
Alyssia Brewer has five double-doubles in the first eight games, which ranks 2nd in the Pac-12 and 17th in the country. She has had double-doubles in four straight games this season. Markel Walker has two double-doubles this season, which is tied for seventh in the Pac-12. Additionally, the two Bruins have had double-doubles in the same game twice this season, both times against WCC opponents. 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 then 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.
MISSING IN ACTION
Only five of the 13 Bruins have played in all eight games of the 2012-13 season, forcing Head Coach Cori Close to go with six different starting lineups in the first eight contests. Only Alyssia Brewer have started and played all eight games. Alyssia Brewer, but they have only been on the court at the same time for 26:12.
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 concludes its nonconference slate by hosting a pair of NIT teams from last year in Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20) and St. Joseph's (Dec. 31). Sandwiched between those two games is a local trip to Pepperdine (Dec. 28), before starting Pac-12 Conference play.