Feb. 10, 2009
GAME #22 DATE: Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 7:00 p.m.
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Michael Sondheimer
GAME #23 DATE: Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009
OPPONENT: Arizona State
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 2:00 p.m.
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Michael Sondheimer
UCLA Returns to Pauley
The Bruins (14-7, 5-5 in the Pac-10) return home to Pauley Pavilion this week for the first time since a Jan. 24 win over Washington. The Bruins host Arizona (9-13, 2-9) on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. and Arizona State (17-6, 9-2) on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.
UCLA split the games on its earlier trip to the Desert, dropping a 68-44 decision in Tempe and winning 48-38 in Tucson. Doreena Campbell led the Bruins in scoring in both contests, pouring in 13 at ASU and 17 against Arizona.
Arizona, which is coming off a win over Oregon, is led by sophomore forward Ify Ibekwe (sister of UCLA's Chinyere Ibekwe), who leads the Pac-10 in rebounding (11.3) and is second in scoring (15.5).
Arizona State enters the week having won its last nine games. Junior guard Dymond Simon leads ASU with a 13.9 ppg mark. Senior post Sybil Dosty is sixth in the Pac-10 in rebounding (7.7).
UCLA Series With Arizona
The Bruins lead the series with Arizona by a 42-19 count. UCLA has won six of the last seven meetings. However, the lone loss in that stretch came in Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 15, 2007 (66-63).
UCLA bested the Wildcats 48-38 in the first meeting of this season on Jan. 17 in Tucson. Doreena Campbell paced the Bruins with 17 points. UCLA held U of A to 23% shooting for the contest and 8.7% in the second half. A 25 to six free throw edge kept the 'Cats in the game.
Sister Act 3
Thursday's battle between UCLA and Arizona will mark the third between sisters Ify and Chinyere Ibekwe. Ify, a sophomore at Arizona, has been atop the Pac-10 Conference rebounding leaderboard (avg.) and Chinyere, a senior at UCLA, has been among the leaders (avg.) for most of the season.
Chinyere owns the bragging rights in the sibling rivalry, as the Bruins have won the first two meetings. Earlier this season in Tucson, Chinyere came off the bench to pull down four boards. Ify totaled 14 points and eight rebounds. Last season, Ify had 16 points and 10 rebounds in a starting role in a Bruin win in Pauley Pavilion. Chinyere came off the bench to score five points and add four rebounds. UCLA won last year's meeting in Tucson, but Ify sat out that ball game with an eye injury.
Bruins Enter Pink Zone
Join the UCLA women's basketball team on Saturday, Feb. 14 as the Bruins, in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association (WBCA) and the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Education & Resource Center (WHERC), participate in "Pink Zone" activities to help support and promote breast cancer awareness.
During the Bruins' Feb. 14 game against Arizona State, both teams will take part in bringing attention to breast cancer awareness. UCLA will wear special white and pink uniforms, which will be auctioned off online after the game, with proceeds to be divided between the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center and the Iris Cantor-UCLA WHERC. Both coaching staffs, band and spirit squad will also wear pink at the game, and the first 2,500 fans in the building will receive a free pink UCLA basketball t-shirt.
Prior to the game, the First Annual Carnival for the Cure will take place outside of Pauley Pavilion from 11am-1 pm. Admission is free. The event will feature fun carnival games, giveaways and prizes, face-painting booths, trivia games, healthy food samplings and cooking demonstrations. UCLA student-athletes, including members of the women's basketball team, will also be on hand for autographs and photos.
All fans attending the game are encouraged to wear pink. To help aid the cause, fans can purchase a pink UCLA Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirt for $10 and receive free admission to the game. The shirts will be available for sale at the BearWear stand outside of Pauley Pavilion before the game and also during the Feb. 12 Arizona game.
The Arizona State Series
UCLA leads the series with Arizona State by a 41-24 margin. However, ASU has captured the last six meetings overall, including the last two played in Pauley. The last UCLA win in the series came in the Pac-10 Tournament (60-59) on March 5, 2006 at San Jose, CA.
The Sun Devils won the first meeting of this season, holding UCLA to a season-low 44 points in a 68-44 decision, on Jan. 15, 2009 in Tempe. Doreena Campbell was the lone Bruin in double figures with 13 points.
UCLA Amongst Nation's Best
In the latest NCAA rankings (Feb. 8), the Bruins are eighth in rebound margin (+9.5), 25th in steals (11.0 average) and 52nd in scoring average (69.6).
Home Sweet Home
The Bruins own an 11-1 record in Pauley Pavilion this year. It is the most wins a UCLA team has posted in Pauley Pavilion since the 1998-99 team went 13-3.
UCLA has won more than 11 home games in Pauley just four other seasons (13 in 1998-99; 12 in 1984-85; 16 in 1980-81; 13 in 1977-78). (note: from 1986 to 1997 UCLA did play some home games in the Wooden Center---in 1986-87, UCLA had another season with at least 11 home wins -seven in Pauley and five in the Wooden Center).
The 64-Point Question
The game at USC marked the eighth time an opponent has scored more than 64 points against the Bruins. Six of UCLA's seven losses, including five on the road, this season have come when the opponent has scored more than 64 points. UCLA has gone 2-6 in those games --- defeated Washington (74-66) and USC (87-75); and lost at USC (87-76), at Stanford (68-51), at Arizona State (68-44), to Oregon (73-56), at Maryland (88-65), and at Texas Tech (72-62). The seventh loss this season came at Cal, when the Golden Bears outscored the Bruins 64-48.
Bruins Bang Boards
UCLA has been exceptional on the rebounding front all season and began the week ranked second in the Pac-10 in caroms per game with a 42.7 average. UCLA also rated second in the Pac-10 and was eighth in the nation in rebound margin with a +9.5 mark. The Bruins rank first in the conference in offensive rebounds with 17.8 per contest.
The Bruins won the battle on the boards in the first nine games of the season and versus 17 of the 21 opponents overall. UCLA has recorded 50+ rebounds in seven of the 21 games, including a season-best 55 against USC on Jan. 11.
Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in nine of the team's 21 games, posting five double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF, a career-high 15 vs. CSUN, 12 vs. Nevada, 12 at Rice, 10 v. USC). She ranks seventh in the conference in rebounding with an average of 7.2.
This year's squad became just the third UCLA team to have won at least 14 games by Feb. 1 on the calendar --- the 1998-99 team won 17; the 1980-81 team won 19.
Nikki Caldwell began the week trailing only four other first-year head coaches in wins (Boston College, American, UCSB, Temple).
The Bruins won as many as nine pre-season non-conference games for the first time since 1986-87, the first year for Pac-10 Conference women's basketball. The best previous total during that stretch was eight wins in 1998-99.
Shot of A Lifetime - $220,000
At every home game, one lucky fan will have an opportunity to win an escalating prize of at least $100,000 in the halftime contest "Shot of a Lifetime".
Fans can sign up to participate prior to tip-off inside Gate 16 of Pauley Pavilion, and one contestant will be chosen at random. That lucky fan will have 25 seconds to make (in order) a shot from behind the left elbow, a shot from behind the right elbow, a three-pointer from the top of the key, and a half-court shot. The grand prize for making these four shots in the time limit is at least $100,000. For every game that does not have a winner, the prize value will increase by $10,000. If no one has won the grand prize by the final home game of the season, that game's participant will be shooting for a quarter of a million dollars. The prize will be $220,000 for the Arizona game on Feb. 12.
Sharing the Scoring Load
In 21 games, the Bruins have had seven different scoring leaders. However, Doreena Campbell has led the team in the last nine ballgames. Sharing the honors of high scorer have been Moniquee Alexander (12 v. Fullerton), Doreena Campbell (20 at USC, 11 at Stanford, 13 at Cal, 20 v. Washington, 15 v. WSU, 17 at Arizona, 13 at Arizona State, 20 v. USC, 12 v. Oregon, 16 at Rice, 18 v. San Diego, 25 at Maryland), Nina Earl (15 v. Oregon State, 12 v. Kansas, tied with Nzekwe; 12 at Cal Poly), Chinyere Ibekwe (15 v. Pepperdine), Darxia Morris (10 v. Nevada), Christina Nzekwe (12 v. Kansas, tied with Earl; 13 v. CSUB, tied with Campbell), Erica Tukiainen (16 v. Texas Tech, 16 v. CSUN). The Bruins have had four games in which all active players have scored.
In beating Arizona (1/17) and Washington State (1/22) earlier this season, UCLA put together back-to-back contests in which it limited the opponent to under 50 points for the first time ever in Pac-10 play. The last time UCLA held consecutive opponents to less than 50 points was Dec. 2 and Dec 3, 1988 in games against LMU (61-46) and Northern Arizona (80-46).
On Jan. 17, the Bruins surrendered a season-low 38 points at Arizona. It was the fewest points allowed by a UCLA team since the Bruins defeated Northern Arizona 77-37 on Nov. 28, 1987.
When Rice scored 64 points in a meeting earlier this season in Houston, it snapped a streak of five straight opponents being held under the 60-point mark. The last time UCLA held more than five straight opponents to less than 60 points in a game was in the 1976-77 season, when the Bruins held five and six straight opponents to under 60 points in two different streaks.
Game 21: USC Recap
USC jumped out to a 21-point halftime lead and went on to post a 87-76 win over the Bruins. The Trojans used a 13-1 run to take a 19-18 lead and turn it into a 32-19 advantage on the way to a 46-25 lead at the break. UCLA which shot just 22% in the first half, rallied to connect on 55% of its shots in the second half but could get no closer than 10 points. Doreena Campbell topped UCLA with 20 points. Moniquee Alexander grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds.
For all Pac-10 home games, UCLA is offering a Family Four Pack ticket deal. Fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for just $44. To order tickets, visit the UCLA Central Ticket Office or call 310-UCLA-WIN.
Brown Undergoes Season-Ending Hip Surgery
Sophomore forward Candice Brown underwent hip surgery on Feb. 5 and is out for the remainder of the season. Brown played in 15 games this season, making one start at Arizona. She averaged 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds per game.
Dixon Transfers To UCLA
Former McDonald's All-American Jasmine Dixon has transferred from Rutgers to UCLA and will be eligible to compete for the Bruins after the completion of the 2009 Fall Quarter.
Dixon, a 5-11 guard from Long Beach, CA (Long Beach Poly HS), played in five games for Rutgers this season and averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. She had been one of the nation's most highly-honored high school players in her senior season of 2008. She was named first-team prep All-American by Parade Magazine, USA Today, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, EA Sports and ESPN HoopGurlz. In addition, Dixon was tabbed as the 2008 Gatorade California Player of the Year and the LA Times Girls' Basketball Player of the Year. She was listed as the sixth-best player in the nation by All-Star Girls Report and was rated the seventh-best guard and the 26th-best player overall in the class of 2008 by HoopGurlz.com. She went on to play in the 2008 McDonald's All-American game.
Dixon helped lead Long Beach Poly HS to three straight California Division I State titles. She averaged 14.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 3.2 assists per game in her senior season. The new Bruin was named the Southern Section Division I-AA Player of the Year by the Southern California Interscholastic Coaches Association and was twice named the California Federation Division I Player of the Year.
Bruins Sign Two For '09-10
Head coach Nikki Caldwell and staff signed two high school standouts, 6-1 forward/guard Markel Walker and 5-4 point guard Mariah Williams, to letters-of-intent during the early period in November. The class is rated as the nation's 14th-best according to ESPN HoopGurlz.
Walker, rated as the No. 4 high school player in the country on the ESPNU HoopGurlz list for the nation's top 100, averaged 16.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game last season for Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, PA. She was the 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania.
Williams, an All-State selection as a junior, attends Aurora, CO Regis Jesuit High School. She averaged 11.5 points, 4.2 assists and 3.3 steals per game last season while shooting 60% from the field and 43% from three-point range.
After this weekend's games, the Bruins will be on the road for four of the last six regular season games (at Washingtons and Oregons, home vs. Stanford/Cal) before beginning Pac-10 Tournament play at the Galen Center.
Making The Grade
Four members of the Bruin squad made the UCLA Athletic Director's honor roll (3.0 of better with at least 12 graded units) during the Fall 2008 quarter. Junior Allison Taka continues her streak of making the Director's Honor Roll in every quarter of her academic career. Junior Erica Tukiainen has received her sixth honor roll distinction, and junior Moniquee Alexander earned her first, Freshman Rebekah Gardner earned honors in her first quarter.