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Third-Place Bruins at Cal on Thursday
Courtesy: UCLA Athletics  
Release:  02/08/2012

Feb. 8, 2012

UCLA at CAL Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Thursday, Feb. 9
7 p.m. - UCLA (12-10, 7-4 Pac-12) at California (17-6, 8-3 Pac-12)
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio

Sunday, Feb. 12
12 p.m. - UCLA (12-10, 7-4 Pac-12) at #4/#4 Stanford (20-1, 11-0 Pac-12)
Online Coverage: Gametracker | Audio
TV: Fox Sports Net (live)

BRUINS HEAD TO CAL THURSDAY
Third-place UCLA takes on the two teams situated above it in the conference standings on its trip to the Bay Area. The Bruins (12-10, 7-4 Pac-12) begin a three-game road stretch with a 7 p.m. game on Thursday at second-place California (17-6, 8-3). UCLA will then battle first-place Stanford on Sunday in a nationally televised affair at Noon on FSN. Free audio and live stats will be available at UCLABruins.com. Cori Close's squad returns to Los Angeles to play at USC on Feb. 19, before landing back in the John Wooden Center for the final two home contests of the season against the Arizona schools.

The Bruins captured their fourth straight win on the season last Saturday, using a strong second-half performance, to post a 73-52 victory over Washington State. Junior Markel Walker recorded UCLA's first triple-double in eight years with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists. Senior Rebekah Gardner led the way with 21 points, 17 coming in the second half of play, as UCLA used a 15-0 run midway thru the second twenty minutes to pull away.

Against Washington last Thursday, UCLA rallied from a seven-point deficit (63-56) in the last 50 seconds to win in overtime, 79-73. Gardner hit two baskets in the final 14 seconds of regulation to send the game into extra time. UCLA's press forced a UW turnover and Gardner's layup (0:14) narrowed the deficit to one-point. The Huskies made one of two free throws (0:12). Gardner grabbed the rebound and her driving layin (0:02) tied the game up at 66.

2012 PACIFIC LIFE PAC-12 BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Experience the March to Madness and help your Bruins feel at home at the Pacific Life Pac-12 Basketball Tournament (March 7-10) at Galen Center and Staples Center. All-Session ticket packages are available online or by calling (310) UCLA-WIN.

PLAYER UPDATES
Senior #35 Rebekah Gardner recorded her 10th straight game with double figures in points, with 21 (seventh 20-point game of the year) against Washington State on Feb. 4. She added 17 against Washington, including two in the final 14 seconds of regulation play which sent that game to overtime.

Gardner leads the Bruins with a 16.0 points per game average and 44 steals (18 in last six contests), is second with 20 three-pointers and third with a 6.7 rebound per game mark. The Bruins' lone senior, and only player to start all 22 games, has led the team in scoring 11 times and has three double-doubles. She has upped her career points total to 975. Her 82 three-point shots rank 10th on the all-time UCLA list.

Gardner's 10-game double digit scoring steak: 21 - Wash. State, 17 - Washington, 17 at Colorado, 15 at Utah, 22 points (career-high 15 reb.) v. Oregon,19 v. Oregon State, 20 v. USC, 16 at Arizona State, 12 at Arizona, 17 v. Stanford (Dec. 31). Gardner has produced at least eight points in all 22 games, at least one steal in 20 of 22 contests (2+ on 14 occasions) and is first on the squad with 18 double-figure scoring games (39 career). She netted a career-high 24 against Tennessee on 9-of-18 shooting and 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. She has at least five boards in 14 games, including nine of the last 11.

#23 Markel Walker earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors (second of her career) after her performances last week against the Washington schools which included UCLA's first triple-double since Noelle Quinn had a triple in the 2004 season at California. Relive Walker's triple-double. Walker has produced double figures in rebounds in nine straight contests after bringing down15 versus WSU along with 14 points and 10 assists (seventh double double of year and 14th of career). She had 14 boards against Washington to go with 16 points, seven assists. She had 10 and a game-high 24 points at Colorado. Walker had 10 rebounds,14 points at Utah. She has climbed into 18th place on the all-time UCLA rebound list (see chart on page three of release).

Walker grabbed a career-best 18 rebounds against Oregon State and was one assist shy of a triple-double, adding nine assists with 16 points. During her double-figure rebounding streak, Walker has 14 against USC, 13 at Arizona State and 12 versus Arizona. Of her 164 rebounds, 67 have come on the offensive end, as she is first on the team with 10.9 rpg (at least six in every game), third with 13.0 ppg, second with 64 assists and second with 33 steals. Walker has scored in double figures in 13 of 15 contests and has a steal in every game (2+ on 11 occasions), producing a season high against California (Dec. 29) with four steals and 18 points. She has at least four assists in six of her last eight and on nine occasions this year.

#1 Thea Lemberger is another of a Bruin quartet that is averaging double figures in points, coming in at 12.5 ppg, which is fourth on the club after hitting double digits in the last five games. She is also first on the team with 33 three-pointers and third with 63 assists and 16 double-figure scoring games. The sophomore had 14 points in the WSU win. She scored 15, all after halftime, in the overtime voctory over Washington and 13 points at Colorado. She had 13 points and matched a career high with six assists at Utah. Lemberger had 18 points and a career-best four three-pointers against Oregon.

The sophomore is averaging 14.5 ppg during Pac-12 play, producing eight double-figure games, including two with over 20. She had 22 at Arizona State and went for a career-high 26 against California (7-of-11 fg, 3-of-6 3pt, 9-of-10 ft). Lemberger had six assists against Tennessee and has at least four helpers in nine contests. Beyond the arc, she has at least one trey in 17 of her 22 contests.

#5 Mariah Williams handed out four assists in the win over Washington State (Feb. 4) to maintain her team lead in the category. She registered 11 points against Washington on a perfect shooting night (4-4 fg, 3-3 ft, 3-3 3pt.). Her back-to-back baskets in the overtime period lifted the Bruins to a six-point lead with 1:43 to play. At Utah, she produced a career-high 21 points, going 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in a career-high 37 minutes.

Williams has started 18 straight games (20 total) and leads the squad with 65 assists to go with 4.9 ppg and 26 steals, third on the club. The junior had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, four rebounds and three steals against USC. She tied a season high with six assists at Arizona State and has produced at least four assists in nine contests this season. The junior also had six assists against McNeese State. Williams has two other contests with at least 10 points, posting 13 at LMU and 11 versus San Diego State.

#34 Corinne Costa has played 20-plus minutes in 13 straight games and is averaging 7.1 ppg (57), 5.5 rpg (44), 2.8 blocks (22) per game over her last eight contests. Her 44 blocked shots this year rank second on the Bruins all-time season list and are the most by a UCLA player since the 1980-81 season (Necie Thompson-53). Costa had eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes of action against WSU (Feb. 4). She scored a career-best 13 points versus Washington (Feb. 2) and matched her own school record total of seven blocked shots. The sophomore pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds at Colorado. She added 10 points against Oregon, to go with four blocks. Costa put up six points, five rebounds against USC and eight points, seven rebounds at Arizona. She is averaging 4.3 ppg and 4.4 rpg on the year. Costa set a UCLA single-game record with seven blocks earlier this season in the first meeting with California, which broke Natalie Williams' record of six set on March 6, 1992 against Arizona. She has at least one block in 20 of 22 games (2+ nine times) and at least one in 13 straight (24 total).

#20 Rhema Gardner recorded eight points and seven rebounds in the win over Washington State (Feb. 4). She collected five boards versus Washington and pulled down seven caroms at Colorado. Gardner had her second-highest scoring output of the season against Oregon State, posting nine points to go with four assists and a career-high three steals. Gardner is averaging 4.0 ppg and 4.1 rpg this season, adding 12 blocks, which is second on the squad. The sophomore has at least five rebounds in eight games. She had her career best in rebounds against Colgate (10). Gardner's personal high in points happened versus McNeese State when she poured in 18 on 5-of-7 shooting and 7-of-10 from the free throw line. Gardner has five other games with at least five points, including nine against San Diego State. Defensively, she has a block in nine games, including three against Cal and two versus USC.

#10 Kacy Swain is averaging 2.7 ppg and 1.7 rpg in 19 contests. She totaled four points, two rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal versus WSU. She scored six points against Washington. The freshman recorded four points, four rebounds (tied season high) against Oregon State. In her third start of the year, Swain recorded two rebounds in 16 minutes against USC. She had two blocks at home against Cal and two points and a board in 14 minutes of action versus Stanford. The freshman's season best in points came against Tennessee Tech (9). Swain matched her season-high of four rebounds against West Virginia on Nov. 25.

Freshman walk-on #3 Madeline Brooks has seen action in seven games. She played a career-high 16 minutes against Oregon, knocking down a three-pointer and grabbing a rebound. She made her collegiate debut against Colgate. She had two points at LMU and played the final minute of the Dec. 31 game against Stanford. Two Bruins, junior Jackie Shepard (foot/shoulder) and freshman Alexis Perry (shoulder), have yet to see action this season as they recover from off-season surgeries, but have resumed practicing.

Atonye Nyingifa, who had 14.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 11 blocks and 18 steals in nine games, tore her right ACL against Tennessee (Dec. 17) and will miss the remainder of the season. The redshirt junior had seven double-figure scoring contests and five double-doubles. Nyingifa poured in a career-best 28 and tied a personal high with 14 rebounds against LMU.

Moriah Faulk, tore her left ACL against Arizona State (Jan. 7) and will miss the rest of the year. The freshman came off the bench in 15 contests, averaging 5.7 ppg and totaling 15 three-pointers. She had multiple treys in five games, including a perfect 3-for-3 at LMU when she had a season-best 11 points, six rebounds and four steals in 14 minutes. Faulk also had double-figure games with 10 against both McNeese State and Baylor.

Senior Jasmine Dixon ruptured her Achilles tendon in September and will miss the season, while senior transfer Alyssia Brewer (Tennessee) will redshirt in '11-'12 and play her final season next year.

POINTS OF INTEREST
Markel Walker is not ranked in the overall Pac-12 stats, due to her lacking the necessary 75% game participation rate, but in conference game stats she is near the top in several categories - Scoring eighth (13.4); second with 12.1 rpg, first offensive rpg (4.6), second defensive rpg (7.5), tied for sixth in steals (2.3) 11th in assist/turnover (1.1) and second in apg (4.6).

The last Bruin player to end a season with a double-digit rebounding average was Kisa Hughes (1994-95, 10.4).

UCLA set a single-game school record with 13 blocks against California on Dec. 29, which broke the previous mark of 12 on Dec. 4, 1980 against Texas A&M. UCLA is 10-1 when leading at the half, with the only loss coming at Arizona ... The Bruins have won three games (UW, at Colorado, at Utah), in their current four-game streak, when trailing at the five minute mark, their first such wins this season (now 3-8).

BRUINS IN THE PAC-12
Rankings through Feb. 6 (Markel Walker will become eligible once she has played in 75 percent of UCLA's games)

Rebekah Gardner: Scoring (3rd, 16.0); Minutes Played (T7th, 34.0); Steals (8th, 2.0); Free Throw % (8th, .739); Offensive Rebounds (8th, 2.9); Rebounding (T15th, 6.7)

Thea Lemberger: Minutes Played (T7th, 34.0); 3-Point FG Pct (T11th, .333); 3-Point FG Made (8th, 1.5); Free Throw % (12th, .699); Scoring (12th, 12.5); Assists (14th, 2.9)

Mariah Williams: Assists (13th, 2.95)

Corinne Costa: Blocked Shots (3rd, 2.0)

Team: 3-Point FG % Defense (2nd, .280); Offensive Rebounds (4th, 14.9); Turnover Margin (5th, +1.2); Steals (5th, 8.6)

ABOUT CALIFORNIA
Cal is coming off of a road sweep of the Arizona schools. The Golden Bears are 8-2 in their last 10 games and own a 10-1 record at home this season. Like the Bruins, Cal has played two overtime games in its last three outings. The Bears lost 74-71 in extra time at Stanford (Jan. 28) and won 78-74 in ot at Arizona (Feb. 2). Cal defeated ASU 67-62 last Saturday.

California leads the conference in rebounding (47.3) and features three players averaging in double digits points -- junior guard Layshia Clarendon (11.6), freshman forward Reshanda Gray (10.7), freshman guard Brittany Boyd (10.0).

Lindsay Gottlieb, a former Golden Bear assistant, is in her first season as the head coach after coming over from UCSB. The Bruins have won the last seven games played in the series, including the last two played in Berkeley.


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