Dec. 20, 2011
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Sophomore Thea Lemberger led the Bruins with 13 points and made a career-best trio of three-pointers, while junior Markel Walker posted 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists in her hometown return to the City of Brotherly Love, but Temple held off UCLA to post a 59-53 victory on Tuesday at McGonigle Hall.
Both teams move to 5-5 on the season, as UCLA stays in Philadelphia and takes on Saint Joseph's on Thursday at 10 a.m. PT. The game will be broadcast live at UCLABruins.com with Dave Marcus at the call.
Both Lemberger and Walker made 5-of-10 from the field, as the Bruins shot 41.1% (23-56) as a team. Senior Rebekah Gardner added nine points, freshman Moriah Faulk poured in eight with two treys off the bench and junior Mariah Williams posted six points and four assists. UCLA made 6-of-10 from beyond the arc for a season-best 60.0% percentage. The Bruins were playing without junior Atonye Nyingifa, who tore her right ACL near the end of last Saturday's game against Tennessee and will miss the rest of the season.
UCLA's only lead of the game was at 2-0 when Lemberger made a layup 21 seconds into the contest. Temple came back with the next five, and despite one tie, never trailed again. Trailing 10-6, back-to-back jumpers from Gardner and Walker evened the score at 10, however Temple responded with the next five to go ahead 15-10.
The theme of the night was whenever the Bruins got close, the Owls went on a mini-run. Layups from Lemberger and sophomore Rhema Gardner cut the deficit to one at 15-14 midway through the half, but Temple netted runs of 4-0 and 10-3 to go up by eight at 25-17 with 3:30 remaining. UCLA scored eight of the last 12 points of the half, including six by Walker, but went into the locker room down 29-25. Walker had eight points in the first half, while Lemberger added seven, as the Bruins shot 40.0% (12-30) from the field in the first 20 minutes.
The Owls immediately got the lead up to double figures to open the second half, scoring nine of the first 10 points over a 3:30 span to take a game-best lead of 12 at 38-26. UCLA rallied with back-to-back, three-pointers from Faulk and a layup by Williams to cut its deficit to four at 38-34, but a 7-2 Temple run made it 45-36 with 12 minutes left in the second half. The Bruins responded with their own 7-2 run on a Rebekah Gardner three and jumpers by Williams and freshman Kacy Swain to again bring it down to four at 47-43, however seven straight by the Owls made it a double-figure deficit again at 54-43 with five minutes left.
The Bruins still hung tough and got the lead down to three following a Rebekah Gardner jumper and consecutive treys by Lemberger to make it 54-51 with three minutes left. However, that was as close as UCLA got the rest of the way. Trailing 56-53 with 15 seconds left, the Bruins nearly made a great defensive stop, but Temple's Shey Peddy made a basket from the free-throw line while falling to the ground as the shot clock was expiring to make it a two-possession game, as the Owls went on to win by six. Faulk scored all eight of her points after intermission, Lemberger added six and Rebekah Gardner posted five. The Bruins shot 42.3% (11-23) from the field in the second half.