Dec. 17, 2008
Houston, TX - UCLA scored the first 20 points of the game and kept Rice off the scoreboard for nearly eight minutes to start the game during the Bruins' 82-64 win over the Owls in Houston, TX on Wednesday evening.
UCLA kept Rice scoreless until the 12:14 mark, when Morgan Mayse hit one free throw after the Bruins had hit 10 of their first 13 shots and forced 10 turnovers. UCLA had 27 points before the Owls even made their first field goal after 12 misses, at the 9:20 mark. Rice was quick to cut into the deficit the rest of the half, scoring 20 points in the final nine minutes and going into the locker room at halftime down 43-26.
The Bruins increased their advantage in the second half to as many as 23 points with 8:24 remaining on a Doreena Campbell layup. Rice pulled to within 15 at 4:15 before Allison Taka drilled a three-pointer on the next possession to bring the lead back to 18 with 3:29 left to play. The Owls again got to within 15 with 1:37 remaining, but the Bruins broke a full court press, and Ibekwe made a nice spin move en route to a layup to increase the lead to 17.
Five Bruins scored in double-figures - Campbell with 16, Nina Earl with 12, and Christina Nzekwe, Darxia Morris and Chinyere Ibekwe with 10 apiece. Ibekwe led all players with 12 rebounds. UCLA outrebounded the Owls, 53-40 to win the rebound battle for the ninth-straight game.
UCLA, now 8-1 and off to its best start in 28 years, hosts Kansas in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, Dec. 21 in a nationally-televised contest at Noon. Rice drops to 3-4 on the year.