Nov. 2, 2008
The UCLA women's basketball team began the 2008-09 season with an 86-80 win over Love and Basketball, a group of former collegiate players, in an exhibition game played this afternoon in Pauley Pavilion. The contest marked the first game for the Bruins under new head coach Nikki Caldwell.
Sophomore guard Doreena Campbell topped a balanced Bruin attack with 16 points. Senior guard Tierra Henderson added 11 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Junior guard Erica Tukiainen and junior center Moniquee Alexander also totaled 11 points for UCLA which led from start to finish in the victory.
UCLA connected on six of its first 10 shots from the field and opened up a 13-6 lead at the initial media timeout which came at the 15:27 mark of the first half. Eight of the Bruin points came on second-chance looks. Senior center Chinyere Ibekwe had two offensive rebound baskets during the stretch. Ibekwe went on to lead the Bruins with 12 rebounds and finished with eight points. UCLA won the team battle of the boards 57 to 45.
The Bruins extended the margin to as many as 16 points in the first half of action, taking a 31-15 lead with 8:03 on the clock, before settling for a 41-29 advantage at the break. The Bruins shot 53 percent from the field in the half.
In the second half, UCLA once again built the lead up to 16 points, taking a 77-61 lead on a Campbell jump shot with 3:20 remaining. After Love and Basketball closed to within eight points, 80-72, with 1:07 on the clock, the Bruins hit six of eight free throws in the final minute of play to hold off the challenge.
A Love and Basketball three-point shot just before the buzzer made the final score 86-80. Former Bruin guard Natalie Nakase (1999-2003) scored four points in the game for Love and Basketball and handed out three assists.
The Bruins will play their final exhibition game on Sunday, Nov. 9 against Team SRP at 2 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. UCLA opens the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 16 at home against Cal State Fullerton also at 2 p.m.