Dec. 29, 2008
Lubbock, TX - UCLA's seven-game winning streak came to an end in front of 10,137 fans at Texas Tech's United Spirit Arena, as the Bruins lost on Monday evening for the first time since Nov. 23, 72-62, to the Lady Raiders. Junior guard Erica Tukiainen scored a career-high tying 16 points to lead UCLA, which drops to 9-2 on the year.
The Lady Raiders (8-4) used a 16-5 opening half run to turn a tie game at halftime into a 49-38 lead to start the second half. Texas Tech hit seven of its first 11 shots in the second half. UCLA cut the lead to three, 53-50, after a Nina Earl layup, but Texas Tech scored seven straight to increase its lead to 10, 60-50, with 8:41 to play. UCLA trimmed the lead to six, 68-62, with 1:18 to play on a pair of Rebekah Gardner free throws but was unable to score again. Texas Tech hit four free throws in the final 34 seconds to secure the victory.
Texas Tech's Jordan Murphree scored the game's first five points as the Lady Raiders jumped to an early 5-0 lead. The Bruins recovered from a slow start to take their first lead, 12-11, on a Tukiainen three-pointer and then used a 15-0 run to take a 27-13 lead with 8:23 to play in the half. Strong three-point shooting keyed the run, with Doreena Campbell hitting two threes and Gardner one. Texas Tech responded with a 10-0 run to close to within four, 27-23 at the 5:45 mark. A three-point play by Tilmila Martin narrowed the Bruin lead to 29-28 at 3:43, and the Lady Raiders tied up the score at 33-33 with nine seconds to play in the half after a pair of free throws by Maria Moore. UCLA had just one field goal in the final five minutes of the half.
Turnovers plagued the Bruins, who totaled 25, including 14 in the decisive second half. The Bruins made a season-best nine three-pointers, led by Tukiainen's career-best four treys.
Joining Tukiainen in double-figures were Campbell with 15 points and Nzekwe with 12. Moniquee Alexander led all players with nine rebounds, as UCLA won the battle of the boards, 41-33. All five of Texas Tech's starters scored in double-figures, led by Moore's 18.
The Bruins open conference play on Friday, Jan. 2 with a home game against 9-1 Oregon State. The game will take place at Pauley Pavilion at 7 pm.