Nov. 7, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Junior Atonye Nyingifa (22 points, 16 rebounds) and senior Rebekah Gardner (11 points, 11 rebounds) each had double-doubles to lead the 22nd-ranked Bruins to an 81-52 victory over Vanguard in an exhibition game on Monday at the John Wooden Center.
Nyingifa made 10 of her 16 field goals (62.5%) and had 10 of her 16 boards on the offensive end. Gardner added five steals and was 7-of-8 (87.5%) from the free-throw line, as the Bruins shot 72.7% (16-for-22) to give first-year head coach Cori Close her first, albeit unofficial, win as UCLA's skipper.
Freshman Kacy Swain came off the bench to post 17 points on 7-of-15 (46.7%) shooting with nine rebounds, while fellow first-year player Moriah Faulk had 14 points, five boards and a trio of three-pointers. Sophomores Rhema Gardner and Thea Lemberger added eight points apiece. The Bruins shot 40.5% from the field for the contest.
The Bruins jumped out to an early 8-3 lead three minutes in, but five in a row by the Lions tied the score at eight. Things were tied again at 10-all when the Bruins scored nine in a row to go ahead 19-10. Two free throws and a jumper by Swain bookended the run, with a Nyingifa layup and a Faulk three rounding out the 9-0 run with 12 minutes left in the half.
Up 21-12, eight in a row on a layup by Rhema Gardner, a four-point play by Faulk and a pair of free throws by Lemberger put the Bruins up by 17. A Vanguard three stopped the run, but UCLA came back with the next 12 to go ahead by a half-best 26 at 41-15 with 5:10 left in the first half. Six different players scored during the 12-0 spurt. The Lions came back to cut their deficit to 20 at the half, going into the locker room down 48-28.
Thirteen minutes into the game, Nyingifa already had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Swain closed out the first half with 10 points and five boards, Rebekah Gardner and Faulk each had seven and Rhema Gardner added six points and five rebounds. The Bruins shot 43.9% from the field in the first half, made 3-of-7 (42.9%) from beyond the arc and 9-of-10 (90.0%) at the charity stripe.
Vanguard came out of halftime recharged, scoring 11 of the first 13 points to trim its deficit to 11 at 50-39 with 16:12 left. But the Lions would get no closer. Leading 62-46, the Bruins scored 10 in a row to get their advantage back up to 26 at 72-46 with under six minutes to go. Nyingifa and Swain each had four points during the run.
A Lion three-pointer made it 72-49, but another 9-0 run put the Bruins' lead in the 30's. Rebekah Gardner had four points during the run, Swain added three and Nyingifa scored two to make it 81-49 with a minute remaining, as the Bruins went on to win it 81-52.
Veronica Beavor (12) and Esther Timmermans (11) paced the Lions in scoring.
The Bruins open up the 2011-12 regular season on Friday against McNeese State in the first round of the Preseason WNIT. Tip-off is at 2 p.m. at the John Wooden Center. Gametracker, free audio and free video will be available at UCLABruins.com.