W-Basketball Ranked 22nd in Pre-Season Poll

Oct. 29, 2011

The UCLA women's basketball team is ranked No. 22 on the pre-season Associated Press poll released on Saturday. The Bruins could face as many as six other 2011-12 ranked teams this season, including the nation's No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 teams. Top-ranked Baylor and second-ranked Notre Dame are in the season-opening NWIT Tournament. Third-ranked Tennessee is on the Bruins home schedule this year.

UCLA, which finished with a No. 13 (ESPN/USA Today) and No. 8 (Associated Press) national ranking last season, will start off 2011-12 by hosting McNeese State in the first round of the WNIT Tournament on Nov. 11 in the John Wooden Center at 2 p.m.

The Bruins will also welcome San Diego State (Nov. 30) and No. 3-ranked Tennessee (Dec. 17) on the non-conference home schedule. The road slate includes games at the Cal State Northridge Tournament against West Virginia and then either Northridge or Cornell, Loyola Marymount, No. 21 LSU and a trip to Philadelphia to meet Temple and St. Joseph's. At least 16 games are on tap against teams which appeared in the postseason last year (Tennessee, Temple, No. 5 Stanford, Arizona State, McNeese State, West Virginia in NCAA Tournament) (No. 23 USC, Arizona, California, Colorado, St. Joseph's in WNIT).

New head coach Cori Close welcomes back eight returning letterwinners and two starters from last season's record-setting 28-5 campaign. The Bruins bring back returning starters Markel Walker, a junior guard/forward, who averaged 8.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season, and Atonye Nyingifa, a redshirt junior forward, who posted 8.8 point and 5.4 rebound marks per game a year ago. Senior guard Rebekah Gardner, who came off the bench in 21 of 32 contests in 2010-11, is also back after recording 7.9 ppg and 3.3 rpg last season.

Also expected to be among the list of returning letterwinners was honors candidate Jasmine Dixon, a senior forward, who led the team with a 7.3 rebound average (8th in the Pac-10) and a 2.4 steals average (3rd in the Pac-10), along with placing second in scoring with a 12.1 average. However, Dixon suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in September and is expected to miss the season.

The 2011 team finished with a 28-5 record (16-2, second in Pac-10) after advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. The 28 wins rank as the second-most in school history. The 16 wins in the Pac-10 conference are the program's best total ever.

The Bruins added two recruits signed in last year's early period, 6-3 forward Kacy Swain and 5-10 guard Moriah Faulk. Five-seven guard Alexis Perry was added to the incoming class in May.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Sunday, Nov 01
vs. Vanguard
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Nov 13
vs. St. John's
Los Angeles, CA
W, 73 - 58
Friday, Nov 20
vs. James Madison
Los Angeles, CA
W, 90 - 61
Sunday, Nov 22
vs. South Carolina
Los Angeles, CA
L, 65 - 68
Friday, Nov 27
vs. Louisiana Tech
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas
W, 68 - 57
Saturday, Nov 28 - 12:15 PM PST
vs. Notre Dame
Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas
Saturday, Dec 05 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. CSU Bakersfield
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Dec 13 - 11:00 AM PST
at Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Wednesday, Dec 16 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. UC Irvine
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Dec 18 - 7:05 PM PST
at Sacramento State
Sacramento, CA
Monday, Dec 21 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Monday, Dec 28 - 7:00 PM PST
at UC Riverside
Riverside, CA
Wednesday, Dec 30 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 02 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Monday, Jan 04 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Jan 10 - 6:00 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 15 - 6:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Jan 17 - 12:00 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Friday, Jan 22 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. California
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Jan 24 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 29 - 6:00 PM PST
at Colorado
Boulder, CO
Sunday, Jan 31 - 1:00 PM PST
at Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
Friday, Feb 05 - 5:00 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Sunday, Feb 07 - 12:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Friday, Feb 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Feb 14 - 11:00 AM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Feb 19 - 6:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Sunday, Feb 21 - 6:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR