Nov. 24, 2012
1:05 p.m. - Princeton (3-1) at No. 19/22 UCLA (2-1)
Gametracker | Audio
Talent: Dave Marcus, play-by-play and Michael Sondheimer, analyst
The UCLA Bruins face their fourth-straight 2012 NCAA Tournament team when they host the Princeton Tigers (3-1) on Nov. 25, 2012, in Pauley Pavilion at 1:05 p.m. UCLA opened up the 2012-13 season with a home win over San Diego State and a road win at Oklahoma and a home loss to Notre Dame.
With its win at No. 11 Oklahoma last week, the Bruins vaulted into the national rankings in both polls this week, coming in at No. 19 in the AP Top 25 Poll and at No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bruins have now been ranked at least one week in both polls in each of the past four seasons.
This is just the second meeting between the Bruins and the Princeton Tigers. UCLA won the only meeting in history exactly three years ago, posting a 69-59 win in Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 25, 2009. UCLA used a pair of double-doubles from freshman Markel Walker and senior Moniquee Alexander to hand previously undefeated Princeton (3-0) its first loss of the year. Walker had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Alexander had 15 points and 11 boards against the Tigers. Lauren Edwards led Princeton with 18 points. Niveen Rasheed added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers, which were outrebounded by the Bruins, 47-27.
This is the second straight game that the Bruins will face that features the Princeton offense. Notre Dame also utilized the Princeton offense, which of course, today's opponent uses. The Princeton offense is an offensive basketball strategy which emphasizes constant motion, passing, back-door cuts, picks on and off the ball, and disciplined teamwork. It was used and perfected at Princeton by long-time head coach Pete Carril (1967-96).
The Bruins were forced to play against No. 5 Notre Dame without the services of junior guard Thea Lemberger, who sat out the game with a knee sprain suffered in practice earlier in the week. Lemberger had 18 points and two assists with zero turnovers in the win at No. 11 Oklahoma. Lemberger is listed as day-to-day and will be a game-time decision.
A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
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 open 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 Oklahoma (Nov. 14), which lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. The Bruins then returned home to host Notre Dame on Nov. 23. The Fighting Irish lost to Baylor in the 2012 NCAA Championship game. Now, the Bruins are back on 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 will travel to Houston's Reliant Stadium with the men's team for a double-header against Texas. The Longhorns also made the NCAA Tournament last year. Then 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.