Dec. 3, 2011
Sunday, Dec. 4
5 p.m. - UCLA at Loyola Marymount
Radio: AM 1150
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio | Video
BRUINS VISIT LIONS
In a matchup between a pair of teams on two-game winning streaks, one squad will get to three on Sunday when UCLA (4-2) travels to Loyola Marymount (2-5) at 5 p.m. The contest can be heard live on the radio at AM 1150, as well as online at UCLABruins.com.
UCLA posted its second, two-game winning streak of the season on Wednesday with a 78-71 victory over San Diego State at the John Wooden Center. Junior Atonye Nyingifa had her fourth double-double of the year with 21 points (career high) and 11 rebounds, senior Rebekah Gardner added 20 points and eight boards and junior Mariah Williams produced a season-best 11 points. Nyingifa made 8-of-17 from the field, while Gardner was 6-of-13 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line in a career-high 39 minutes. Williams played a personal-best 36 minutes and was 7-of-8 from the charity stripe, as the Bruins shot a season-best 70.6% (24-34) from the line.
Sophomores Rhema Gardner and Thea Lemberger each added nine points, and freshman Moriah Faulk came off the bench with eight points and a pair of three-pointers. UCLA shot 43.1% (25-58) from the field for the contest.
The Bruins used a 22-0 run during a 6:33 stretch in the first half to take a 22-6 lead. UCLA's largest lead of the night was 16 at 24-8 and 26-10. San Diego State came all the way back to re-take the lead early in the second half, but a 15-4 UCLA run gave the home squad a 59-49 advantage and the Bruins never looked back.
Through the first five games of the season, Gardner is tops on the team with 17.5 points per game, which is fifth among Pac-12 players going into Saturday's action in the conference. Her 7.7 rebounds per game rank second on the squad and tied for 12th in the conference, while her 2.3 steals per game are tied for sixth. She is shooting a team-high .465 from the field, with 40 makes in 86 attempts, has three games with at least 20 points and five in a row with double figures. Gardner, who has led the Bruins in scoring in four of six contests, posted her first-career double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 13, going 7-of-14 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. She added 15 at Baylor (Nov. 17), 19 against West Virginia (Nov. 25) and 21 points and 10 boards versus Colgate (Nov. 26) for her second double-double of the year. The senior was named to the Preseason WNIT and Holiday Inn Thanksgiving Basketball Classic All-Tournament teams.
Nyingifa, who is second in the conference with four double-doubles, is averaging one with 14.7 ppg (12th in the Pac-12) and 10.0 rpg (3rd in the Pac-12). Her first two double-doubles of the season came in the Preseason WNIT, as she had 16 points and 12 rebounds against McNeese State (Nov. 11) and 16 points and a career-high 14 boards versus Tennessee Tech. She added another double-double against Colgate with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Nyingifa has five double-figure scoring games this season, including 10 against West Virginia.
Lemberger is third in ppg at 10.2 and second with 16 assists and six three-pointers. She has posted at least eight points in all six contests, with four double-figure scoring games. Lemberger had 10 against McNeese State, 12 versus Tennessee Tech, 11 at Baylor and 11 against Colgate.
Off the bench, Faulk has produced at least five points in all six games, including 10 against McNeese and Baylor and six versus West Virginia and Colgate. She is first on the squad with eight three-pointers, including seven in her last four games, and is averaging 7.5 ppg.
Rhema Gardner, along with her sister, Nyingifa and Lemberger, has also started all six games. She is averaging 7.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg. Gardner had a career-high 18 points against McNeese State and pulled down a personal-best 10 rebounds against Colgate. Williams has started four times this season and is first on the squad with 18 assists, averaging 3.3 ppg. She had a team-best six against McNeese and four versus Tennessee Tech and San Diego State. Freshman Kacy Swain has started twice at Baylor and against West Virginia, but left the WVU contest with a concussion and is day-to-day. Swain had nine points off the bench against Tennessee Tech. Sophomore Corinne Costa leads the Bruins with nine blocks, notching three at Baylor.
Three Bruins, juniors Jackie Shepard (shoulder) and Markel Walker (thumb), and freshman Alexis Perry (shoulder), have yet to see action this season as they recover from off-season surgeries. Freshman walk-on Madeline Brooks made her collegiate debut against Colgate, playing four minutes and recording one offensive rebound. Senior Jasmine Dixon ruptured her Achilles tendon in September and is likely to miss the season, while senior transfer Alyssia Brewer will redshirt in '11-'12 and play her final season next year.
After an 0-5 start to the season with losses to Denver, Cal State Northridge, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Fullerton and Youngstown State, Loyola Marymount has won its last two versus Wyoming and at New Mexico, both by 57-54 scores. On Thursday in Albuquerque, junior Alex Cowling had 31 points on 12-of-21 shooting and four three-pointers, but it was junior Monica DeAngelis' trey at the buzzer that lifted the Lions to a three-point win.
Loyola Marymount is averaging 54.6 ppg this season, with 20.6 of it coming from Cowling, who is also first with 9.0 rpg and 15 steals, and is shooting 46.2% from the field. Sophomore Hazel Ramirez is second with 7.0 ppg and five treys, while forward Emily Ben-Jumbo is third with 6.1 ppg, second with 4.6 rpg and first with eight blocks and a 73.1 shooting percentage (19-26). Julie Wilhoit is in her 17th year at LMU and has a 226-244 mark in Westchester and a 347-314 record in 24-plus seasons of coaching.
The Bruins have never lost to the Lions in seven previous meetings and are 3-0 at LMU. The two teams met last Dec. 3 at Gersten Pavilion, with UCLA coming away with a 67-43 victory. Darxia Morris and Markel Walker each had 15 points, as the Bruins outscored the Lions 35-19 after halftime, shooting 53.6% (15-28) from the field in the final 20 minutes. UCLA has defeated LMU by an average of 27 points in its seven victories. The closest margin was on Dec. 2, 1988 at Gersten Pavilion, a 61-46 Bruin win.