Dec. 3, 2008
Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA scored big with a 104-57 victory over CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday evening. The Bruins, now 5-1 on the season, led by 21 at the half and outscored the Roadrunners by a 53-28 count in the second half.
UCLA started the game with a 20-5 run before CSU Bakersfield re-entered the contest and closed to within seven points at 24-17 with 12:36 left on the first half clock. The Bruins extended their lead to 17 with an 11-1 run that put the team ahead, 35-18 at the 8:39 mark, and took a 51-29 advantage into the locker room at halftime. UCLA's 51 points in the half were a season-high for the team. The Roadrunners actually outshot UCLA in the first half, 47.6% to 45.2%, but attempted only two more field goals than the Bruins made and turned the ball over 16 times.
The Bruins extended their lead even more in the second half, going ahead by as many as 50 points, 104-54 with 29 seconds to play in the game.
UCLA set or tied season-highs in points scored (104), rebounds (54), three-pointers made (seven), blocks (five) and assists (23). For the sixth-straight game, the Bruins won the battle of the boards, 54-25, and even had more offensive rebounds (29) than Bakersfield had total rebounds (25).
Sophomore forward Christina Nzekwe, who made her first career start in the contest, set a career-high for the second-straight game. Just three days after scoring 11 points vs. Cal State Northridge, she totaled 13 with a season-high seven rebounds. She was joined in double-figure scoring by sophomore guard Doreena Campbell (13 points) and freshman guard Rebekah Gardner (career-high 12 points). Junior Allison Taka (eight points and two steals) and freshman Atonye Nyingifa (nine points, six rebounds, three steals) also posted career-bests. All 12 Bruins scored in the game for the second-straight contest. Senior Christine Kepenikian (Burbank, CA Burroughs HS) led Bakersfield with 17 points and eight rebounds.
With 104 points against the Roadrunners and 95 last Sunday in a win over Cal State Northridge, the Bruins recorded their first back-to-back 90-point plus games since scoring 90 in a pair of wins over Stanford and California in January of 2006. This was the Bruins' first 100-point game since a 107-83 win over Cal Poly on Nov. 20, 2007 and their biggest margin of victory since a 106-43 victory over Sacramento State on Nov. 24, 2002.
"It was a good effort by our team," said UCLA head coach Nikki Caldwell. "We did a good job with our offensive execution and transition defense."
The 5-1 start to the season is UCLA's best record to start a season since the 2004-05 Bruins began the season by winning six of the first seven games. The Bruins will have a chance to equal that on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion when they host Nevada.