Feb. 18, 2013
Tuesday, Feb. 19
8:06 p.m. PT
No. 17 UCLA (19-6, 10-4) at USC (8-17, 5-9)
Gametracker | Internet Audio
Audio Talent: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Mike Sondheimer (analyst)
TELEVISION: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Krista Blunk (play-by-play), Mary Murphy (analyst)
No. 17/16 UCLA (19-6, 10-4 Pac-12) faces crosstown rival, USC (8-17, 5-9), twice this week. The Bruins are at USC on Tuesday (Feb. 19) for an 8:06 p.m. tilt in Galen Center and then host the Trojans on "Senior Day" on Sunday (Feb. 24) in Pauley Pavilion at 2:05 p.m. Both games will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
While UCLA is 19-6 overall on the year and 10-4 in the Pac-12, all four conference losses and five of the six defeats this season have been to Top 7 teams in the country. UCLA has lost to No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Notre Dame, @ No. 6 Stanford, No. 6 California and @ No. 7 California. The Bruins have won at No. 11 Oklahoma, vs. No. 12 Texas (neutral) and at home vs. No. 22 Colorado (3-5 vs. ranked teams). It is the most ranked teams UCLA has faced in one season since 2006-07. That year, the Bruins faced 10 Top 25 teams (1-9 vs. ranked teams).
After dropping two homes games last week to two Top 10 teams No. 6 California (79-51) and No. 4 Stanford (57-68), the UCLA Bruins slid two spots to No. 17 in the AP Top 25 Poll. The USA Today Coaches Poll is released on Tuesdays. UCLA fell one spot to No. 13 in the NCAA Women's Basketball RPI (NCAA.com). The Bruins have been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is the 79th meeting between UCLA and USC with the Trojans leading the series 45-33. While the Bruins have won four of the last six meetings, USC swept the season series a year ago. Cassie Harberts led USC to a 66-54 win in Galen on Feb. 19, 2012 with 26 points and nine rebounds. Briana Gilbreath had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Trojans. Markel Walker led the Bruins with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Rebekah Gardner had a game-high 20 points, but UCLA dropped the first game of the series last year, 47-43, at the Wooden Center (Jan. 14, 2012). Walker had a game-high 14 boards, but scored just four points (2-for-11). Ashley Corral was the only Trojan in double figures with 10 points and just missed a triple-double with eight boards and eight assists.
UCLA IN STATISTICAL RANKINGS
UCLA is 3rd in the Pac-12 in scoring (69.0 ppg) and is 4th in the Pac-12 and 25th in the country in rebounding margin (+7.5). The Bruins lead the Pac-12 and rank 23rd in the nation in assists (16.3) and also leads the league in steals (10.9). UCLA is also 3rd in the Pac-12 in rebounds per game (42.9) and 2nd in offensive rebounds (15.8).
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).
Markel Walker has five double-doubles this season, which ranks ninth 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 three of the 13 Bruins have played in all 25 games this season and nobody has started in more than 22 contests, forcing Head Coach Markel Walker missed the Arizona game (Jan. 25) with back spasms, but returned on Sunday for the Arizona State game (Jan. 27). The Bruins have already used 187 different combinations of players on the court this season. In a total of 965 minutes of game action, the leading combination on the floor in terms of minutes played together is Markel Walker and Alyssia Brewer for a total of 67:58.