Jan. 5, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - Sophomore Thea Lemberger led the Bruins with 17 points, junior Markel Walker had her first double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds and senior Rebekah Gardner added 12 points and eight boards, but the Bruins dropped a 74-66 decision at Arizona on Thursday at the McKale Center.
The Bruins fall to 6-8 overall and 1-2 in Pac-12 play, while the Wildcats improve to 12-2 and 1-1 in league action.
Lemberger was 5-of-11 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line, as the Bruins made 8-of-10 (80%) from the charity stripe to mark their fourth straight contest with at least a 70% effort from the line. Freshman Moriah Faulk added nine points and six rebounds (tied a career high), while sophomore Corinne Costa also tied a career high off the bench with eight points to go with seven boards. UCLA shot 34.2% (26-76) from the field for the game.
The first half featured eight ties and six lead changes, as neither team led by more than five points. Leading 6-5 two minutes in, a pair of free throws by Lemberger and a layup from junior Mariah Williams gave the Bruins their biggest lead of the half at 10-5. Arizona responded with a 13-4 run over the next five minutes to take its largest lead of the first half at 18-14. UCLA evened things at 18, 20 and 22, and were finally able to take the lead back after a 4-0 run. Trailing 25-22, a pair of free throws from freshman Kacy Swain and a jumper by Walker put the Bruins on top by one at 26-25 with seven minutes to go.
The Wildcats came back with a 7-4 run to go up by two, but a layup from Faulk and a three by Lemberger put the Bruins up 35-32 in the final minute. Arizona tied the score with three consecutive free throws, but a Walker layup with five seconds left in the half gave the Bruins a 37-35 edge heading into the locker room. Lemberger paced UCLA with 10 points in the first half, Gardner added seven points and five rebounds and Walker nearly had a double-double with eight points and nine boards. The Bruins shot 36.8% (14-38) from the field and made six of their seven shots from the charity stripe.
Arizona made a three to open up the second half, but four in a row on a pair of Lemberger free throws and a Williams layup put UCLA on top 41-38. With the visitors ahead 46-42, the Wildcats got the next four to even the score at 46. However, the Bruins came back with an 8-2 run to go ahead 54-48. Threes by Lemberger and Walker and a Costa layup put UCLA up by a half dozen with 12 minutes left in regulation.
The Bruins still led by six at 60-54 midway through the half, but scored only six points in the final 10 minutes. An 11-2 Arizona run over a six-minute stretch put the home squad up by three at 65-62. A Faulk layup narrowed the deficit to one, but the Wildcats scored the next six and ended up winning 74-66. Lemberger had seven points in the second half, Costa added six and Faulk and Gardner posted five apiece. The Bruins shot 31.6% (12-38) from the floor in the second half.
Davellyn White led the Wildcats with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Erica Barnes (16), Reiko Thomas (15) and Shanita Thomas (10) also scored in double figures.
The Bruins continue their Arizona swing on Saturday when they face Arizona State at 3 p.m. PT. The contest will feature Gametracker and free audio at UCLABruins.com, and will also be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net.