Feb. 1, 2012
UCLA HOME AFTER ROAD SWEEP
The Bruins (10-10, 5-4 Pac-12) return home to play host to the Washington schools this week. UCLA opens with a game against Washington (3-6, 11-8) on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the John Wooden Center. The Bruins complete their home stand on Saturday afternoon, squaring off with Washington State (4-5, 10-11 with game at USC on Thursday), at 2 p.m. on Dads and Daughters Day. Free video, audio and Gametracker will be available at UCLABruins.com.
UCLA is coming off a dramatic road sweep of Utah and Colorado, outscoring the two home teams by a combined point total of 13-0 to end regulation play, putting back-to-back wins together for the first time since November 30 (San Diego State) and December 4 (LMU).
The Bruins rallied for a 62-54 overtime win at Colorado in a nationally televised game on Sunday (Jan. 29). UCLA was down by four with two minutes left in regulation and tied it up at 46 on baskets by Thea Lemberger (1:54 left) and Rebekah Gardner (14 seconds left). The Bruins used an 8-0 run to secure the win after the two teams traded baskets to open the extra period. Junior Markel Walker had six of her career-high matching 24 points in overtime. She added 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season.
Last Thursday (Jan. 26) at Utah, the Bruins captured a thrilling 65-60, comeback victory. Trailing by nine (52-43) with 6:54 to play, the Bruins went on a 22-8 run to end the game thanks to some clutch shooting and excellent pressure defense. UCLA shot 57.7 (15-26) percent in the second half and forced Utah into seven turnovers in the final seven minutes, scoring on six of the ensuing possessions. Junior Mariah Williams led the Bruins with a career high in points (21). Walker added 14 points and 10 rebounds, senior Rebekah Gardner had 15 points and tied a career high with five steals and sophomore Thea Lemberger posted 13 points and equaled a personal best with six assists.
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Rebekah Gardner recorded her eighth straight game with double figures in points, with 17 at Colorado on Jan. 29. She totaled 15 at Utah on Jan. 26. The team leader in steals also matched a career high with five thefts in that contest.
Gardner leads the Bruins with 15.7 points per game and 41 steals (15 in last four contests), is second with 19 three-pointers and third with 6.5 rebounds per game. The Bruins' lone senior and only player to start all 20 games has led the team in scoring nine times and has three double-doubles. She has upped her career points total to 937. Her 81 three-point shots rank tied for 10th on the all-time UCLA list with Noelle Quinn and Erica Gomez.
She totaled 22 points (sixth 20-point game of the year) and a career-high 15 rebounds (nine offensive) against Oregon on Jan. 21. She added a personal-best six assists. On Jan. 19 versus Oregon State, Gardner notched 19 points, eight rebounds and four steals. She had 20 against USC (Jan. 14), 16 points and eight rebounds at Arizona State (Jan. 7), 12 points and eight boards at Arizona (Jan. 5) and 17 points with six rebounds versus Stanford (Dec. 31).
Gardner has produced at least eight points in all 20 games, at least one steal in 18 of 20 contests (2+ on 13 occasions) and is first on the squad with 16 double-figure scoring games (37 career). She netted a career-high 24 against Tennessee (Dec. 17) on 9-of-18 shooting and 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. She also had 20 points versus San Diego State (Nov. 30) and a pair of double-doubles with 21 points and 10 rebounds against both Tennessee Tech (Nov. 13) and Colgate (Nov. 26). She also has at least five boards in 13 games, including eight of the last 10.
Markel Walker has produced double figures in rebounds in seven straight contests after grabbing 10 to go with a game-high 24 points (fifth double double of the year and 12th of her career) at Colorado. (Jan. 29) She had 10 rebounds to go with 14 points and four steals at Utah (Jan. 26). She has now climbed into 19th place on the all-time UCLA rebound list.
Walker, who grabbed 12 rebounds with three points against Oregon, had a career-best 18 rebounds against Oregon State and was one assist shy of a triple-double, adding a personal-high nine assists with 16 points. During her double-figure rebounding streak, Walker had 14 with four points and five assists against USC, 13 with 15 points, five assists and four steals at Arizona State and 12 with 12 points versus Arizona. Of her 135 rebounds, 58 have come on the offensive end, as she is first on the team with 10.4 rpg (at least six in every game), third with 12.7 ppg, third with 47 assists and second with 30 steals, adding a 72.2 free throw percentage. Walker has scored in double figures in 11 of 13 contests and has a steal in every game (2+ on 10 occasions), producing a season high against California (Dec. 29) with four steals and adding 18 points. She has at least four assists in four of her last six and on seven occasions this year.
Thea Lemberger is another of a Bruin quartet that is averaging double figures in points, coming in at 12.3 ppg, which is fourth on the club. She is also first on the team with 28 three-pointers and second with 56 assists and 14 double-figure scoring games. Lemberger scored 13 points in 41 minutes of action at Colorado. She had 13 points and two three-pointers, tying a career high with six assists at Utah. On the last homestand, she had 18 points and made a career-best four three-pointers against Oregon after recording nine points versus Oregon State. The sophomore is averaging 14.6 ppg during Pac-12 play, producing six double-figure games, including two with over 20. She had 22 at Arizona State, making 9-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Lemberger went for a career-high 26 against California (7-of-11 fg, 3-of-6 3pt, 9-of-10 ft) and also added a 17-point effort with five assists at Arizona. Lemberger had a career-best six assists against Tennessee and has at least four helpers in eight contests. Beyond the arc, she has at least one trey in 15 of her 20 contests, including three at Temple (Dec. 20).
Mariah Williams scored four at Colorado. At Utah, she produced a career-high 21 points, going 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in a career-high 37 minutes. Williams has started 16 straight games (18 total) and leads the squad with 59 assists to go with 4.8 ppg and 23 steals, which is third on the club. The junior had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, four rebounds and three steals against USC. She tied a season high with six assists at Arizona State and has produced at least four assists in eight contests this season. The junior also had six assists in the season opener against McNeese State. Williams has two other contests with at least 10 points, posting 13 at Loyola Marymount and 11 versus San Diego State. Williams was 6-of-10 from the floor against the Lions and went 7-of-8 from the charity stripe versus the Aztecs. Williams has a steal in eight of her last 12 games (13 total), recording a season-best three against LMU and California.
Corinne Costa has played 20-plus minutes in 11 straight games and is averaging 6.3 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 blocks per game over her last seven contests. Her 35 blocked shots this year rank fourth on the Bruins all-time season list.
Costa pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds before fouling out in the win at Colorado. She set a career high with 10 points (5-of-9 fg) against Oregon, the week before, to go with four blocks. She had two points, four boards and a block at Utah. The sophomore has at least six points and four boards in five of her last seven contests, putting up eight points (4-of-6) and six rebounds versus Oregon State, six points (3-7) and five rebounds against USC, six points (3-4) and four boards at Arizona State and eight points (4-10) and seven rebounds (four offensive) at Arizona. The team leader in blocks with 35 is averaging 3.7 ppg and 4.3 rpg on the year. Costa set a UCLA single-game record with seven blocks against California, which broke Natalie Williams' record of six set on March 6, 1992 against Arizona. She has at least one block in 18 of 20 games (2+ seven times) and at least one in 11 straight (22 total). Costa also has one steal in six in a row.
Rhema Gardner pulled down seven rebounds in the win at Colorado. She had her second-highest scoring output of the season against Oregon State, posting nine points on 4-of-6 shooting to go with four assists and a career-high three steals. Gardner, who had two rebounds in 20 minutes at Utah, is averaging 4.0 ppg and 3.9 rpg this season, adding 12 blocks, which is second on the squad. The sophomore has at least five rebounds in six games, recording eight at Arizona State. Her career best in rebounds came against Colgate when she had 10. Gardner's personal high in points happened in the season opener versus McNeese State (Nov. 11) when the sophomore poured in 18 on 5-of-7 shooting and 7-of-10 from the free throw line. Gardner has four other games with at least five points, including nine against San Diego State. Defensively, she has a block in nine games, including three against California and two versus USC.
Kacy Swain is averaging 2.4 ppg and 1.7 rpg in 17 contests. She had one board in 12 minutes of action at Colorado. The freshman, who did not play at Utah because of a violation of team rules, recorded four points, four rebounds (tied season high) and one block against Oregon State and two points and two boards versus Oregon. In her third start of the year, Swain recorded two rebounds in 16 minutes against USC. She had four points and three rebounds in 14 minutes at Arizona. During the opening weekend of Pac-12 play, she had two blocks against California in six minutes and two points and a board in 14 minutes of action versus Stanford. The freshman's season best in points came against Tennessee Tech when she had nine on 4-of-9 shooting. Swain pulled down a season-high four rebounds against West Virginia on Nov. 25. Freshman walk-on Madeline Brooks has seen action in the last three games. She played a career-high 16 minutes against Oregon, knocking down a three-pointer and grabbing a rebound. Brooks played 10 minutes at Utah and two minutes at Colorado. She made her collegiate debut against Colgate, playing four minutes and recording one offensive rebound. She had two points in six minutes at Loyola Marymount and played the final minute of the Dec. 31 game against Stanford.
Atonye Nyingifa, who had 14.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, a 45.7 shooting percentage, 11 blocks and 18 steals in nine games, tore her right ACL against Tennessee (Dec. 17) and will miss the remainder of the season. The redshirt junior had seven double-figure scoring contests and five double-doubles. Nyingifa poured in a career-best 28 and tied a personal high with 14 rebounds against Loyola Marymount.
Moriah Faulk, tore her left ACL against Arizona State (Jan. 7) and will miss the rest of the year. The freshman came off the bench in 15 contests, averaging 5.7 ppg and 15 three-pointers. She had multiple treys in five games, including a perfect 3-for-3 at Loyola Marymount when she had a season-best 11 points, six rebounds and four steals in just 14 minutes. Faulk also had double-figure games with 10 against both McNeese State and Baylor.
POINTS OF INTEREST
UCLA set a single-game school record with 13 blocks against California on Dec. 29, which broke the previous mark of 12 on Dec. 4, 1980 against Texas A&M ... the Bruins are making 71.8% of their free throws during Pac-12 play, which ranks fourth in the conference. UCLA is also third in three-point field goal percentage defense (.259), in turnover margin (+3.0) and in blocked shots (4.2) and fourth in steals per game (8.6) in league contests ... individually, Rebekah Gardner is fifth in conference games in ppg at 16.2, Thea Lemberger is sixth (14.6) and Markel Walker is tied for 10th (13.0). Walker is second with 11.6 rpg in Pac-12 contests, first in offensive rpg (4.7), fourth in steals (2.4) and tied for sixth in apg (3.8), while Corinne Costa is third with 2.4 bpg ... UCLA is 8-1 when leading at the half, with the only loss coming at Arizona ... against Utah, the Bruins won their first game this season when getting out-shot by their opponent (1-8) and when trailing with five minutes to play ... They came right back and beat Colorado after also trailing with five minutes to play (2-8).
BRUINS IN THE PAC-12
Rankings through Jan.30 (Markel Walker will become eligible once she has played in 75 percent of UCLA's games)
Rebekah Gardner: Scoring (4th, 15.7); Minutes Played (6th, 33.9); Steals (7th, 2.1); Free Throw Percentage (8th, .720); Offensive Rebounds (10th, 2.7); Rebounding (18th, 6.5)
Thea Lemberger: Minutes Played (8th, 33.8); 3-Point FG Pct (T-11th, .333); 3-Point FG Made (12th, 1.4); Free Throw Percentage (12th, .672); Scoring (T-12th, 12.3)
Mariah Williams: Assists (12th, 3.0)
Corinne Costa: Blocked Shots (5th, 1.8)
Team: 3-Point FG Pct Defense (2nd, .278); Offensive Rebounds (4th, 14.8); Turnover Margin (3rd, +1.9); Free Throw Percentage (6th, .671); Steals (6th, 8.6)
Washington split its home games last week against the Arizona schools. The Huskies exploded for a 77-48 win over Arizona on Thursday and followed it up with a close loss, 57-53, to Arizona State on Saturday. Former Bruin (2008) Regina Rogers totaled a double-double in each contest.
The Huskies are second in the Pac-12 with a .347 field goal percentage defense. The teams share one common non-conference opponent - UCLA defeated San Diego State at home 78-71, while UW lost at SDSU by a score of 63-51.
Senior center Regina Rogers leads the conference in field goal percentage (.622), is ranked third in the Pac-12 in scoring (15.8) and seventh in rebounding (8.1). Freshman guard Jazmine Davis is ninth in the conference in scoring (14.3) and sixth in three-point shots made per contest (1.8). Head coach Kevin McGuff is in his first season at the helm in Seattle. He coached the nine previous nine seasons at Xavier posting a 213-73 record.
The Bruins have won the last four meetings against UW and the last nine games played at UCLA. Washington has won the three previous meetings contested in the Wooden Center.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
WSU is coming off of a home split with the Arizona schools. The Cougars bested Arizona 78-68 on Saturday as five players scored double figures. ASU topped Washington State 63-46 last Thursday.
WSU senior guard Jazmine Perkins leads the Pac-12 in steals (2.9/g). She tops the Cougars in scoring (9.0) and rebounding (7.6) and had 13 points and 12 boards in the win over Arizona. Junior 6-5 center Carly Noyes ranks seventh in the conference in field goal percentage (.541). In conference games only, WSU leads the Pac-12 in turnover margin at +6.4 (12.8 WSU to / 19.2 oppt. to).
June Daugherty is in her fifth season as the head coach of Washington State. The Bruins have won the last 22 games played in the series and own a record of 25-0 in the contests played at UCLA.