Nov. 15, 2011
BRUINS AND THE BEARS
The 22nd-ranked Bruins continue play in the Preseason WNIT on Thursday as they travel to Waco, Texas to take on top-ranked Baylor in the tournament semifinals. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. PT/7 p.m. CT and will be audio broadcast by Dave Marcus at uclabruins.com.
The Bruins are coming off a 74-52 victory over Tennessee Tech on Sunday at the John Wooden Center in the Preseason WNIT second round. Senior Rebekah Gardner had personal highs in points (21) and rebounds (10) for her first career double-double, while junior Atonye Nyingifa posted her second straight double-double with 16 points and a career-best 14 rebounds.
Gardner was 7-of-14 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line, adding four assists and three steals, while Nyingifa made 6-of-13 from the field. Sophomore Thea Lemberger was in double figures for the second straight game with a career-best 12 points to go with four assists. Freshman Kacy Swain added nine points, freshman Moriah Faulk posted five with five boards and sophomore Rhema Gardner had seven points. The Bruins, who haven't trailed in either of their first two wins this season or their exhibition victory, shot 42.6% (26-for-61) from the field for the contest.
Baylor is coming off 54- and 60-point wins to start its campaign, defeating Howard (82-28) on Friday and Chattanooga (91-31) on Sunday. Junior post Brittney Griner had 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks versus Howard and 19 points, eight boards and three blocks against Chattanooga. Sophomore guard Odyssey Sims also had double figures in points in both contests with 15 and 18, respectively.
Last season, the Lady Bears advanced to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 34-3 record. Baylor returns 12 letterwinners and four starters, led by All-American Griner, who averaged 23.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game last season. Sims also averaged in double figures in ppg at 13.1. Kim Mulkey is in her 12th season at Baylor and holds a 300-79 record.
Baylor leads the all-time series with UCLA 5-2 and has won the last four matchups. The last time the two teams met was at Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 17, 2006, as the Lady Bears came away with an 83-70 victory. The most recent affair in Waco occurred on Nov. 18, 2005, a 93-85 Baylor win. UCLA's last victory in the series came on Dec. 7, 1996 in Westwood, a 58-55 win. The Bruins are 0-3 all-time in Waco.
The winner of Thursday's game will face the winner of the Notre Dame/Hartford contest in the Preseason WNIT Championship on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT. That game will be broadcast live on CBS College Sports Network, and with a Bruin win, would be played at either Notre Dame or Hartford.
UCLA last played a No.1-ranked team on Dec. 19, 2007, a 82-70 loss to Tennessee in Pauley Pavilion.