Dec. 13, 2012
Saturday, Dec. 15
11:30 a.m. PT/2:30 p.m. ET
No. 14/17 UCLA (5-1) vs. Saint Mary's (6-2)
No. 14/17 UCLA faces Saint Mary's in the second game of the day in the St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic at Carnesecca Arena on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m. (ET)/11:30 a.m. (PT). The game will be broadcast on ESPN3. The winner will advance to the championship game on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2:30 p.m. (ET)/11:30 a.m. (PT) and will face the winner of the St. John's/Tennessee Tech game. The loser will face the other team in the consolation game at 12:00 p.m. (ET)/9:00 a.m. (PT) on Dec. 16.
With its win at No. 11 Oklahoma on Nov. 14, the Bruins vaulted into the national rankings in both polls immediately following, coming in at No. 19 in the AP Top 25 Poll and at No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Last week, the Bruins climbed to No. 17 in the AP Top 25 and No. 19 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. With its win over No. 12/16 Texas in Houston on Dec. 8, UCLA is now ranked No. 14 in the AP Poll and No. 17 in the Coaches Poll. The Bruins have now been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is the eighth meeting between the Bruins and Saint Mary's with UCLA leading the series 5-2. UCLA won the last meeting, a 75-59 win at Saint Mary's on Dec. 12, 2010. Rebekah Gardner led all scorers with 16 points as the Bruins forced 33 turnovers and scored 40 points off turnovers. Doreena Campbell scored 14 points and Darxia Mooris chipped in 12 points and a game-high six assists for UCLA. Atonye Nyingifa added 10 points to lead a quartet of Bruins in double-figure scoring. UCLA is 1-0 all-time against Tennessee Tech with the win coming last year. Rebekah Gardner had personal highs in points (21) and rebounds (10) while junior Atonye Nyingifa posted a double-double of 16 points and a career-best 14 rebounds, as the 22nd-ranked Bruins defeated Tennessee Tech 74-52 on Nov. 13, 2011 at the John Wooden Center in the second round of the Preseason WNIT. UCLA and St. John's have never met.
In all, the Bruins will play seven different teams that made the NCAA Tournament a year ago and another seven squads that were selected for the NIT field. Additionally, UCLA could face another NCAA and a NIT squad in the St. John's Tournament field. The non-conference slate is one of the toughest in school history and rivals that of any school in 2012-13. The Bruins opened the season with four straight NCAA Tournament teams, which started with the Aztecs in the season-opener. Then the Bruins went to Norman, Okla. for a road test at No. 11 Oklahoma (Nov. 14), which lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. The Bruins then returned home to host No. 5 Notre Dame on Nov. 23. The Fighting Irish lost to Baylor in the 2012 NCAA Championship game. UCLA then returned to the hardwood hosting another NCAA Tournament team, Princeton (Nov. 25). After a non-conference game with a local foe, Loyola Marymount (Dec. 2), the Bruins traveled to Houston's Reliant Stadium with the men's team for a double-header against No. 12 Texas. The Longhorns also made the NCAA Tournament last year. Now the Bruins travel to New York to compete in their only regular-season tournament (St. John's Chartwells Holiday Classic), hosted by St. John's on Dec. 15-16, which lost in the NCAA Regional Semifinals. The Bruins open the tournament with Saint Mary's, which made the NIT in 2012. The Bruins conclude their nonconference slate by hosting a pair of NIT teams from last year in Cal State Northridge (Dec. 20) and St. Joseph's (Dec. 31). Sandwiched between those two games is a local trip to Pepperdine (Dec. 28), before starting Pac-12 Conference play.