Jan. 2, 2013
Friday, Jan. 4
7:00 p.m. PT
No. 16/17 UCLA (9-2, 0-0) at Oregon (2-10, 0-0)
No. 17/18 UCLA opens 2013 and Pac-12 action on the road this week when they travel to face the Oregon Ducks (2-10, 0-0) in Matthew Knight Arena on Jan. 4 at 7:00 p.m. The Bruins will be at the Oregon State Beavers (6-6, 0-0) in Gill Coliseum on Jan. 6 at 2:00 p.m.
With its win at No. 11 Oklahoma on Nov. 14, the Bruins vaulted into the national rankings in both polls immediately following and have been ranked every week since, coming in at No. 19 in the AP Top 25 Poll and at No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bruins climbed to No. 17 in the AP Top 25 and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Poll the following week. With its win over No. 12/16 Texas in Houston on Dec. 8, UCLA moved to No. 14 in the AP Poll and No. 17 in the Coaches Poll. UCLA then moved up two spots to No. 12 in the AP Top 25 and moved up a spot to No. 16 in the Coaches Poll after going 2-0 on its east coast trip. The Bruins slid to No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 18 in the Coaches Poll after its 77-72 setback to Cal State Northridge on Dec. 20. But the Bruins moved up a spot in both polls after its 77-46 win at Pepperdine (Dec. 28) to No. 16 in the AP Poll and No. 17 in the Coaches Poll. The Bruins have now been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is the 56th meeting between UCLA and Oregon with the Bruins leading the series 30-25. UCLA has won five of the last six meetings, but last year, the Ducks dominated in an 83-62 win at UCLA's John Wooden Center on Jan. 21, 2012. Rebekah Gardner scored 22 points and added a career-high 15 rebounds and six assists, Corinne Costa added a personal-best 10 points and Thea Lemberger recorded 18 points with a career-best three treys for UCLA in the loss. Four Ducks were in double figures, led by Jasmin Holliday's double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds. Liz Brenner also had a double-double for Oregon with 15 points and 11 boards. Danielle Love registered 16 points and seven rebounds while Ariel Thomas had 11 points and seven rebounds for Oregon, which snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bruins.
CLOSE CALLS ... BRUINS IN OVERTIME
The UCLA Bruins improved to 3-0 under Head Coach Cori Close in overtime games in her two seasons with last week's 53-52 win in overtime at St. John's (Dec. 16). Last season, the Bruins posted back-to-back overtime wins at Colorado (62-54 on Jan. 29, 2012) and at home versus Washington (79-73 on Feb. 2, 2012).
Alyssia Brewer has six double-doubles in her first 10 games, which ranks tied for 2nd in the Pac-12 and tied for 22nd in the country. She has had double-doubles in five of her last six games. Markel Walker has three double-doubles this season, which ranks seventh in the Pac-12. Additionally, the two Bruins have had double-doubles in the same game three times this season. Walker had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the 86-66 win over Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2) while Brewer had 14 points and 11 rebounds against the Lions. Walker later had 15 points and 12 rebounds in the 76-62 win over Saint Mary's (Dec. 15) as Brewer chipped in 12 points and 10 boards against the Gaels. In the loss to Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20), Brewer had 14 points and 12 rebounds with Walker adding 12 points and 12 boards.
MISSING IN ACTION
Only four of the 13 Bruins have played in all 11 games of the 2012-13 season and nobody has started in all of those contests, forcing Head Coach Corinne Costa (five games) have both missed contests with head injuries. Thea Lemberger, Alyssia Brewer, but they have only been on the court at the same time for a total of 32:55.
The Bruins will face eight different teams in 2012-13 that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago and another seven squads that were selected for the NIT field. The non-conference slate is one of the toughest in school history and was rated No. 6 by Jeff Sagarin in the strength of schedule column on rpiratings.com. The Bruins opened the season with four straight 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, starting with a win over San Diego State in the season-opener. Then UCLA went to Norman, Okla., and knocked off the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, which lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year to St. John's. The Bruins returned home and fell to No. 5 Notre Dame on Nov. 23. The Fighting Irish lost to Baylor in the 2012 NCAA Championship game. UCLA returned to its winning ways, hosting another NCAA Tournament team, Princeton (Nov. 25). After a non-conference victory over local foe, Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2), the Bruins traveled to Houston's Reliant Stadium with the men's team for a double-header against No. 12 Texas. After a 20-point upset win over the Longhorns, which also made the NCAA Tournament last year, the Bruins headed to New York to compete in their only regular-season tournament (St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic). UCLA opened with a win over Saint Mary's (Dec. 15), which made the NIT in 2012. UCLA won the title game at St. John's on Dec. 16. The Red Storm lost in the NCAA Regional Semifinals last year. UCLA suffered a 77-72 setback to an NIT squad in Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20), but rebounded to post a blowout win at Pepperdine (Dec. 28) and concluded its nonconference slate with a home win over another NIT team in Saint Joseph's (Dec. 31).