Feb. 16, 2012
BRUINS ON FSN SUNDAY
The Bruins (12-12, 7-6 Pac-12) will head to the Galen Center on Sunday to take on USC in a nationally televised contest at Noon on FSN. Free audio and live stats will be available at UCLABruins.com. Cori Close's squad then returns to the John Wooden Center for the final two home contests of the season against Arizona (F23) and Arizona State (F25).
UCLA dropped a pair of games on its trip last week to the Bay Area. No. 4-ranked Stanford went on a 15-0 run in the second half to break open a close game and posted a 82-59 win over the Bruins. Rebekah Gardner became the 26th member of the Bruin 1,000-point club in the second half of the contest and finished with 15 points. Markel Walker scored 16 and added 10 boards. Last Thursday, Cal snapped UCLA's four-game winning streak.The Bruins sliced all but two points off of a 14-point second half Golden Bear advantage, but came out on the short end of a 67-58 decision. Walker had 18 points to lead the Bruins, while Gardner added 16.
PLAYER UPDATES -
Gardner scores 1,000th Point
Senior #35 Rebekah Gardner recorded her 12th straight game with double figures in points, netting 15 at Stanford, and became the 26th member of the women's basketball 1,000-point club after a second-half basket. She scored 16 at Cal and tied for the team rebound lead with six.
Gardner leads the Bruins with a 15.9 points per game average and 49 steals, is second with 20 three-pointers and third with a 6.5 rebound per game mark. The Bruins' lone senior, and only player to start all 24 games, has led the team in scoring 11 times and has three double-doubles. Her 82 three-point shots rank 10th on the all-time UCLA list.
Gardner's 12-game double-digit scoring steak: 15 at Stanford, 16 - at Cal, 21 - Wash. State, 17 - Washington, 17 at Colorado, 15 at Utah, 22 points (career-high 15 reb.) v. Oregon,19 v. Oregon State, 20 v. USC, 16 at Arizona State, 12 at Arizona, 17 v. Stanford (Dec. 31).
Gardner has produced at least eight points in all 24 games, at least two steals on 16 occasions and is first on the squad with 20 double-figure scoring games (41 career). She netted a career-high 24 against Tennessee on 9-of-18 shooting and 5-of-9 from beyond the arc. She has at least five boards in 15 games, including 10 of the last 13.
#23 Markel Walker led the team with 16 points and 10 rebounds at Stanford (eighth double double of year and 15th of career). She also led the team with 18 points at Cal. She earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors (second of her career) following her home court performances against the Washington schools which included UCLA's first triple-double since Noelle Quinn had a triple in the 2004 season.
Walker had produced double figures in rebounds in nine straight contests, but fell short at Cal with five caroms. In her triple against WSU, she ripped down15 boards to go with 14 points and 10 assists. She had 14 boards, 16 points and seven assists against Washington. She had a career-high matching 24 points at Colorado. She has climbed into 18th place on the all-time UCLA rebound list (see chart on page three of release).
Walker grabbed a career-best 18 rebounds against Oregon State and was one assist shy of a triple-double in that game, adding nine assists and 16 points. Of her 179 rebounds, 76 have come on the offensive end, as she is first on the team with 10.5 rpg (at least five in every game), third with 13.5 ppg, second with 69 assists and second with 40 steals. Walker has scored in double figures in 15 of 17 contests and has a steal in every game (2+ on 13 occasions), producing a season high at home against Cal (Dec. 29) with four thefts. She has at least four assists on nine occasions this year.
#1 Thea Lemberger is another of a Bruin quartet that is averaging double figures in points, coming in at 12.4 ppg, which is fourth on the club after hitting double digits in the last seven games (18 games overall). She is first on the team with 36 three-pointers and 70 assists. She scored 13 at Stanford and handed out four assists versus one turnover. The sophomore had 10 points at Berkeley, including a big three with 2:59 to play which cut what had once been a 14-point deficit to two. She added 14 points versus WSU. She scored 15, all after halftime, in the overtime victory over Washington and 13 points at Colorado. She had 13 points and matched a career high with six assists at Utah. Lemberger had 18 points and a career-best four three-pointers against Oregon.
The sophomore is averaging 14.1 ppg during Pac-12 play, while producing 10 double-figure games, including two with over 20. She had 22 at Arizona State and went for a career-high 26 at home against Cal (7-11 fg, 3-6 3pt, 9-10 ft). Lemberger had six assists against Tennessee and has at least four helpers in nine contests. Beyond the arc, she has at least one trey in 18 of her 23 contests.
#5 Mariah Williams is third on the team with 67 assists. She scored six at Stanford and handed out four assists in the win over Washington State. She registered 11 points against Washington on a perfect shooting night (4-4 fg, 3-3 ft, 3-3 3pt.). Her back-to-back baskets in the overtime period lifted the Bruins to a six-point lead with 1:43 to play. At Utah, she produced a career-high 21 points, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in a career-high 37 minutes.
Williams has started 20 straight games (22 total) and has a 4.8 ppg average. Her total of 26 steals rates fourth on the club. The junior had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, four rebounds and three steals at home against USC. She tied a season high with six assists at Arizona State (also v. McNeese St.) and has produced at least four assists in nine contests this season. Williams has two other contests with at least 10 points, posting 13 at LMU and 11 versus San Diego State.
#34 Corinne Costa had played 20-plus minutes in 13 straight games until foul trouble helped to halt the streak last week at Cal (17 min.). She is averaging 6.7 ppg (67), 4.5 rpg (45), 2.3 blocks (23) per game over her last 10 contests. Her 45 blocked shots this year rank second on the Bruins all-time season list and are the most by a UCLA player since the 1980-81 season (Necie Thompson-53).
Costa scored four at Stanford and had six points, with one board, one block at Cal. She had eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes of action against WSU. Costa scored a career-best 13 versus Washington and matched her own school record total of seven blocks. The sophomore pulled down a career-best 10 rebounds at Colorado. She added 10 points against Oregon, to go with four blocks. Costa put up six points, five rebounds against USC and eight points, seven rebounds at Arizona. She is averaging 4.3 ppg and 4.0 rpg on the year.
Costa set a UCLA single-game record with seven blocks earlier this season in the first meeting with California, which broke Natalie Williams' record of six set on March 6, 1992 against Arizona. She has at least one block in 21 of 24 games (2+ nine times) and at least one in 14 of the last 15 games.
#20 Rhema Gardner continued to do the little things well at Stanford, blocking two shots and grabbing four rebounds. She had six boards (tied for team lead), four points, three steals at Cal. She recorded eight points and seven rebounds in the win over Washington State. Rhema collected five boards versus Washington and pulled down seven caroms at Colorado. Gardner had her second-highest scoring output of the season against Oregon State, posting nine points to go with four assists and a career-high three steals. Gardner is averaging 3.9 ppg and 4.2 rpg this season, adding 15 blocks, which is second on the squad. The sophomore has at least five rebounds in nine games. She had her career best in rebounds against Colgate (10). Gardner's personal high in points happened versus McNeese State, when she poured in 18 on 5-of-7 shooting and 7-of-10 from the free throw line. Gardner has five other games with at least five points, including nine against San Diego State. Defensively, she has a block in 11 games, including three at home against Cal and two at home versus USC.
#10 Kacy Swain is averaging 2.7 ppg and 1.6 rpg in 21 contests. She had three points, two rebounds and a steal at Stanford. Swain scored two with a block at Cal. She totaled four points, two rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal versus WSU. She scored six against Washington. The freshman recorded four points, four rebounds (tied season high) against Oregon State. In her third start of the year, Swain recorded two rebounds in 16 minutes against USC. She had two blocks at home against Cal. The freshman's season best in points came against Tennessee Tech (9). Swain matched her season-high of four rebounds against West Virginia on Nov. 25.
Freshman walk-on #3 away/ 22 home Madeline Brooks has seen action in eight games. She played a career-high 16 minutes against Oregon, knocking down a three-pointer and grabbing a rebound. She made her collegiate debut against Colgate. She scored two at LMU.
Two Bruins, junior Jackie Shepard (foot/shoulder) and freshman Alexis Perry (shoulder), have yet to see action this season as they recover from off-season surgeries, but have resumed some practice activities.
Atonye Nyingifa, who had 14.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 11 blocks and 18 steals in nine games, tore her right ACL against Tennessee (Dec. 17) and will miss the remainder of the season. The redshirt junior had seven double-figure scoring contests and five double-doubles. Nyingifa poured in a career-best 28 and tied a personal high with 14 rebounds against LMU.
Moriah Faulk, tore her left ACL against Arizona State (Jan. 7) and will miss the rest of the year. The freshman came off the bench in 15 contests, averaging 5.7 ppg and totaling 15 three-pointers. She had multiple treys in five games, including a perfect 3-for-3 at LMU when she had a season-best 11 points. Faulk also had double-figure games with 10 against both McNeese State and Baylor. Senior Jasmine Dixon ruptured her Achilles tendon in a team workout in September and will miss the season, while 6-3 senior transfer Alyssia Brewer (Tennessee) will redshirt in '11-'12 and play her final season next year.
POINTS OF INTEREST
To illustrate the role changes on this year's Bruin team, the following is a list of the points and rebounds of the six returning active players in the two games played in 2011 vs. USC -- Corinne Costa 2 pt./1 rb.; Rebekah Gardner 5/5; Rhema Gardner 0/1; Thea Lemberger 0/0; Markel Walker 8/12, Mariah Williams 0/0. Meanwhile, non-active returners Jasmine Dixon and Atonye Nyingifa combined for 61 points and 32 rebounds in the pair of USC games last season. Here are the numbers for the six active returners from the first meeting of this season with USC: Costa 6/5; Rk. Gardner 20/4; Rh Gardner 0/3; Lemberger 5/4; Walker 4/14; Williams 8/4.
UCLA's current mark of 63.2 points per game allowed ranks as the sixth-lowest total in school history ... It marks the fifth-straight season in which the UCLA defense has givien up a point total which has earned a listing among the top 10 lowest in school history -- 2010-11 No. 1 at 55.3; 2009-10 No. 2 at 57.5; 2008-09 No. 5 at 61.6; 2007-08 No. 7 at 66.3.
Thea Lemberger has played at least 30 minutes in each of the last 22 straight games.
Markel Walker is not ranked in the overall Pac-12 stats, due to her lacking the necessary 75% game participation rate, but in conference game stats she began the week near the top in several categories - Scoring eighth (13.9); second with 11.4 rpg, first offensive rpg (4.6), Tsecond defensive rpg (6.8), tied for sixth in steals (2.3) 9th in assist/turnover (1.0) and third in assists per game (4.3).
The last Bruin player to end a season with a double-digit rebounding average was Kisa Hughes (1994-95, 10.4).
UCLA set a single-game school record with 13 blocks against California on Dec. 29, which broke the previous mark of 12 on Dec. 4, 1980 against Texas A&M. UCLA is 10-1 when leading at the half, with the only loss coming at Arizona ... The Bruins have won three games (UW, at Colorado, at Utah), in their recent four-game conference win streak, when trailing at the five minute mark, their first such wins on the season (now 3-10).
The school record for blocked shots in a season is 108 which was set in 1980-81 ... The current Bruin squad sits at 92 on the year, which is the seventh-most in school history.
USC and UCLA have played some very close games in the Galen Center over the years, in fact, eight of the last 10 meetings have been decided by eight points or less.
Highlights of the Bruin's four-game conference win streak included Walker's triple-double (14 points, 15 rebounds, 10 assists) against Washington State. It marked UCLA's first triple in eight years (Noelle Quinn in 2004 at Cal). UCLA rallied from a seven-point deficit (63-56) in the last 50 seconds to win in overtime against Washington. Gardner hit two baskets in the final 14 seconds of regulation to send the game into extra time. UCLA came from four back in the final two minutes to tie Colorado and then went on to win that contest in overtime. UCLA fought back from a nine-point deficit with just under seven minutes remaining to play at Utah and went on a 22-8 run to end the game.