Jan. 29, 2012
BOULDER, Colo. - Junior Markel Walker tied a career high with 24 points and added 10 rebounds, senior Rebekah Gardner (17) and sophomore Thea Lemberger (13) were also in double figures in scoring and sophomore Corinne Costa had a personal-best 10 boards with four blocks, as the Bruins outlasted Colorado 62-54 in overtime on Sunday at the Coors Events Center.
The Bruins improve to 10-10 overall and 5-4 in Pac-12 play, while the Buffaloes fall to 15-5 and 4-5 in league action.
It was Walker's second straight double-double and fifth of the season. Gardner, who made the game-tying bucket at the end of regulation, added three steals and two treys. Sophomore Rhema Gardner recorded seven rebounds off the bench. The Bruins shot 34.3% (23-67) for the game.
UCLA jumped out to an early 9-2 lead in the first six minutes, taking advantage of Colorado missing its first 13 shots. Up 5-2, a Walker three-point play and another from the junior on a free throw put the visitors up by seven. The Buffaloes finally hit from the field and scored five straight, but a layup from junior Mariah Williams and a jumper by Walker put the Bruins back up by six at 13-7 with 11 minutes left in the half. Colorado scored back-to-back buckets to get to within two, but a Walker jumper and a Lemberger layup again made it a six-point margin at 17-11 with seven to go in the half.
Colorado went on an 8-2 run over the next five minutes to tie the score for the first time since the game started, equaling things at 19 with two minutes left. Two free throws by Lemberger and a Walker layup put the Bruins back up by four, but the Buffaloes ended the half on a 5-0 run, including a jumper as time expired to give the home squad a 24-23 edge at the half. Walker paced the Bruins with 12 points in the first half, Lemberger added six points and Costa recorded six rebounds and three blocks. The Bruins shot 30% (9-30) in the opening 20 minutes.
Colorado continued its momentum to start the second half, scoring six of the first seven to take a 30-24 advantage four minutes in. Still down by six at 34-28, UCLA went on an 8-1 run to re-take the lead. Baskets by Costa and Walker and consecutive hoops from Gardner made it 36-35 midway through the second half. Colorado scored next to go back up by one, but a free throw from Gardner followed by a layup from the senior put the Bruins back up 39-37 with six minutes left in regulation.
The Buffaloes came back with a 6-1 run to take a three-point edge at 43-40 with 3:34 left. Down 46-42 with two minutes to go, a Lemberger layup cut the deficit to a pair. The score stayed the same, until with 7.5 seconds left, a layup by Gardner evened the score at 46. Colorado inbounded the ball, but was unable to get across half court, as the game went into overtime. Gardner paced the Bruins with 11 points in the second half, while Walker added six points and five boards. The Bruins shot 31.3% (10-32) in the second stanza.
Lemberger made the first basket of overtime to put the Bruins up 48-46, but the Buffaloes immediately responded to tie it at 48. UCLA then had an 8-0 run on a layup by Walker, a Gardner three, a jumper from Walker and a Lemberger free throw to make it 56-48 with a minute remaining. A Colorado three cut its deficit to five, but Walker made a pair of free throws to bring the lead back up to seven at 58-51 with 34 seconds left. The Buffaloes were fouled on a three-point attempt and made all of them to get to within four, but the Bruins salted it away with four free throws down the stretch to win it 62-54.
The Bruins return to the Wooden Center next weekend, facing Washington on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. and Washington State on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 2 p.m. Gametracker, free audio and free video will be available at UCLABruins.com.