Jan. 27, 2009
GAME #19 DATE: Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009
SITE: Haas Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 7:00 p.m.
TALENT: Dave Marcus
GAME #20 DATE: Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009
SITE: Maples Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 1:00 p.m.
TALENT: Jim Watson, Mary Murphy
TALENT: Dave Marcus
UCLA Travels To Bay Area
The Bruins (14-4, 5-2 in the Pac-10) will square off against the teams at the top of the Pac-10 standings when they meet No. 7 California (16-2, 7-0) on Thursday night at 7 p.m. and play at No. 9 Stanford (15-4, 6-1) on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in a game to be televised live nationally by FSN.
Cal has won its last eight games, the longest current win streak in the Pac-10. The Bruins enter the game having won their last three contests. The Golden Bears are led by senior forward Ashley Walker, who paces the Pac-10 with a 20.7 scoring average and is third in the league in rebounding (8.0).
Stanford is led by junior center Jayne Appel, who is third in the Pac-10 in scoring (15.2) and second in rebounding (9.6). Appel was named this week's Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 20.0 points and 11.0 rebounds while shooting 84.2% from the field in a road sweep of the Oregon schools.
UCLA captured its 11th home win in 12 tries last Saturday afternoon against Washington by a score of 74-66. Darxia Morris scored 10 straight Bruin points midway through the second half to help hold off the Huskies. The last basket in the streak gave UCLA a 61-59 lead which it would not surrender down the stretch. Doreena Campbell topped five Bruins in double digits with 20 points.
The Series With California
UCLA leads the series by a 39-13 count, but the Bruins have dropped the last three meetings. Cal won in overtime at Pauley (Jan. 6, 2008) by a score of 73-70 and followed it up with a 67-53 win in Berkeley on Jan. 31, 2008.
In the meeting in Los Angeles, Darxia Morris, who finished with 14 points, keyed a second-half Bruin comeback from a seven-point halftime deficit by scoring six points in a 10-0 UCLA run midway through the half. However, she went down with a knee injury at the 5:39 mark and the Bruins managed just one field goal the balance of regulation play. Cal tied the score at the 1:45 mark at 65-all, and neither team scored down the stretch.
In Berkeley, the Bears outscored UCLA 15-1 in a stretch which included the last few minutes of the first half and the start of the second half to take a 43-26 lead. Doreena Campbell was the lone Bruin in double digits with 10 points.
The Series With Stanford
Stanford leads the series by a 40-22 margin. The teams split a pair of games during the regular season last year, with each winning on their home court.
UCLA earned a 69-56 win on Jan. 4, 2008 in Pauley Pavilion over the then No.2-ranked Cardinal. It marked the highest (AP) ranked team a UCLA squad had ever defeated. The Bruins led by as many as 11 points in the first half before settling for a 38-34 gap at the break. Stanford, which shot 29.6% for the game, misfired on its first seven shots of the second half as the Bruins ran off 12 unanswered points to take a 50-34 lead with 15:40 to play. The Cardinal never got closer than seven points after that. Darxia Morris led UCLA with 20 points.
The Cardinal posted a 75-62 win in Maples Pavilion on Feb. 2, 2008. A 23-3 second-half Stanford run keyed the win and enabled the Cardinal to turn a five-point margin over the Bruins into a 25-point cushion. Stanford then won the third meeting of the season, 78-45, in the semifinal round of the Pac-10 Tournament in San Jose, CA on Mar. 9, 2008. No Bruin scored in double digits in that contest.
Bruins Enter The Pink Zone
Join the UCLA women's basketball team on Saturday, Feb. 14 as the Bruins, in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association (WBCA) and the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Education & Resource Center (WHERC), participate in "Pink Zone" activities to help support and promote breast cancer awareness.
During the Bruins' Feb. 14 game against Arizona State, both teams will take part in bringing attention to breast cancer awareness. UCLA will wear special white and pink uniforms, which will be auctioned off online after the game, with proceeds to be divided between the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center and the Iris Cantor-UCLA WHERC. Both coaching staffs, band and spirit squad will also wear pink at the game, and the first 2,500 fans in the building will receive a free pink UCLA basketball t-shirt.
Prior to the game, the First Annual Carnival for the Cure will take place outside of Pauley Pavilion from 11am-1 pm. Admission is free. The event will feature fun carnival games, giveaways and prizes, face-painting booths, trivia games, healthy food samplings and cooking demonstrations. UCLA student-athletes, including members of the women's basketball team, will also be on hand for autographs and photos.
All fans attending the game are encouraged to wear pink. To help aid the cause, fans can purchase a pink UCLA Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirt for $10 and receive free admission to the game. The shirts will be available for sale at the BearWear stand outside of Pauley Pavilion before the game.
UCLA Amongst Nation's Best
In the latest NCAA rankings (Jan. 25), the Bruins are fourth in rebound margin (+11.9). UCLA is also 17th in steals (11.5 average) and 35th in scoring average (71.4). Sophomore Doreena Campbell ranks 38th nationally in free throw percentage, shooting 84.5% for the year.
Bruins Bang Boards
UCLA has been exceptional on the rebounding front, ranking second in the Pac-10 in rebounds per game with a 44.1 average. UCLA started the week leading the Pac-10 and was fourth in the nation in rebound margin with a +11.8 mark (now +11.6). The Bruins still rank first in the conference in offensive rebounds with 18.4 per contest.
The Bruins won the battle on the boards in the first nine games of the season and versus 16 of the 18 opponents overall. UCLA has recorded 50+ rebounds in seven of the 18 games, including a season-best 55 against USC on Jan. 11.
Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in nine of the team's 18 games, posting five double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF, a career-high 15 vs. CSUN, 12 vs. Nevada, 12 at Rice, 10 v. USC). She ranks fourth in the conference in rebounding (her sister Ify Ibekwe from Arizona was the Pac-10 leader) with an average of 7.8.
UCLA's 50+ Rebound Games
Total (Off-Def) - Opponent
54 (25-29) - vs. CSUF (11/16/08)
50 (18-32) - vs. Pepperdine (11/18/08)
54 (26-28) - vs. CSUN (11/30/08)
54 (29-25) - vs. CSUB (12/3/08)
54 (21-33) - vs. Nevada (12/7/08)
53 (21-32) - at Rice (12/17/08)
55 (23-32) - vs. USC (1/11/09)
UCLA has held its opponents to an average of 60.5 points per game this season. In beating Arizona (1/17) and Washington State (1/22), UCLA put together back-to-back contests in which it limited the opponent to under 50 points for the first time ever in Pac-10 play. The last time UCLA held consecutive opponents to less than 50 points was Dec. 2 and Dec 3, 1988 in games against LMU (61-46) and Northern Arizona (80-46).
On Jan. 17, the Bruins surrendered a season-low 38 points at Arizona. It was the fewest points allowed by a UCLA team since the Bruins defeated Northern Arizona 77-37 on Nov. 28, 1987.
Washington became just the sixth team to score more than 64 points against the Bruins in 2008-09. All four losses (three on the road) this season have come when the opponent has scored more than 64 points. UCLA has gone 2-4 in those games --- defeated Washington (74-66) and USC (87-75); and lost at Arizona State (68-44), to Oregon (73-56), at Maryland (88-65), and at Texas Tech (72-62).
When Rice scored 64 points in a meeting earlier this season in Houston, it snapped a streak of five straight opponents being held under the 60-point mark. The last time UCLA held more than five straight opponents to less than 60 points in a game was in the 1976-77 season, when the Bruins held five and six straight opponents to under 60 points in two different streaks.
Sharing the Scoring Load
In 18 games, the Bruins have had seven different scoring leaders. Sharing the honors of high scorer have been Moniquee Alexander (12 v. Fullerton), Doreena Campbell (20 v. Washington, 15 v. WSU,17 at Arizona, 13 at Arizona State, 20 v. USC, 12 v. Oregon, 16 at Rice, 18 v. San Diego, 25 at Maryland), Nina Earl (15 v. Oregon State, 12 v. Kansas, tied with Nzekwe; 12 at Cal Poly), Chinyere Ibekwe (15 v. Pepperdine), Darxia Morris (10 v. Nevada), Christina Nzekwe (12 v. Kansas, tied with Earl; 13 v. CSUB, tied with Campbell), Erica Tukiainen (16 v. Texas Tech, 16 v. CSUN). The Bruins have had four games in which all active players have scored.
With a 14-4 record, UCLA has posted its best start to a season since the 1998-99 squad began the year 17-4. That team went on to finish with a 26-8 record after advancing to the NCAA Elite Eight. The Bruins won as many as nine pre-season non-conference games for the first time since 1986-87, the first year for Pac-10 Conference women's basketball. The best previous total during that stretch was eight wins in 1998-99.
Home Sweet Home
The Bruins own an 11-1 record in Pauley Pavilion this year. It is the most wins a UCLA team has posted in Pauley Pavilion since the 1998-99 team went 13-3. UCLA has won more than 11 home games in Pauley just four other seasons (13 in 1998-99; 12 in 1984-85; 16 in 1980-81; 13 in 1977-78). (note: from 1986 to 1997 UCLA did play some home games in the Wooden Center--in 1986-87, UCLA had another season with at least 11 home wins -seven in Pauley and five in the Wooden Center).
Shot of A Lifetime - $220,000
At every home game, one lucky fan will have an opportunity to win an escalating prize of at least $100,000 in the halftime contest "Shot of a Lifetime". Fans can sign up to participate prior to tip-off inside Gate 16 of Pauley Pavilion, and one contestant will be chosen at random. That lucky fan will have 25 seconds to make (in order) a shot from behind the left elbow, a shot from behind the right elbow, a three-pointer from the top of the key, and a half-court shot. The grand prize for making these four shots in the time limit is at least $100,000. For every game that does not have a winner, the prize value will increase by $10,000. If no one has won the grand prize by the final home game of the season, that game's participant will be shooting for a quarter of a million dollars. The prize will be $220,000 for the next home game.
For all Pac-10 home games, UCLA is offering a Family Four Pack ticket deal. Fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for just $44. To order tickets, visit the UCLA Central Ticket Office or call 310-UCLA-WIN.
Game 18: Washington Recap
Darxia Morris scored 10 straight Bruin points midway through the second half to help UCLA hold off Washington by a score of 74-66. Morris's last basket in the run gave UCLA a 61-59 lead which it would not surrender down the stretch. Doreena Campbell led five Bruin players in double digits with 20 points.
Game 17: WSU Recap
UCLA captured its 10th home win in 11 tries this season with a 83-48 win over Washington State on Thursday. The Bruins used 61% first-half shooting and a series of runs to help overcome an early deficit and jump out to a 38-22 halftime lead. The visiting Cougars never threatened after that and were held to one field goal in the final eight minutes of the contest. It marked the first time since the 1988-89 season that UCLA had held two straight opponents to sub-50 offensive performances.
Dixon Transfers To UCLA
Former McDonald's All-American Jasmine Dixon has transferred from Rutgers to UCLA and will be eligible to compete for the Bruins after the completion of the 2009 Fall Quarter. Dixon, a 5-11 guard from Long Beach, CA (Long Beach Poly HS), played in five games for Rutgers this season and averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. She had been one of the nation's most highly-honored high school players in her senior season of 2008. She was named first-team prep All-American by Parade Magazine, USA Today, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, EA Sports and ESPN HoopGurlz. In addition, Dixon was tabbed as the 2008 Gatorade California Player of the Year and the LA Times Girls' Basketball Player of the Year. She was listed as the sixth-best player in the nation by All-Star Girls Report and was rated the seventh-best guard and the 26th-best player overall in the class of 2008 by HoopGurlz.com. She went on to play in the 2008 McDonald's All-American game.
Dixon helped lead Long Beach Poly HS to three straight California Division I State titles. She averaged 14.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 3.2 assists per game in her senior season. The new Bruin was named the Southern Section Division I-AA Player of the Year by the Southern California Interscholastic Coaches Association and was twice named the California Federation Division I Player of the Year.
Bruins Sign Two For '09-10
Head coach Nikki Caldwell and staff signed two high school standouts, 6-1 forward/guard Markel Walker and 5-4 point guard Mariah Williams, to letters-of-intent during the early period in November. The class is rated as the nation's 14th-best according to ESPN HoopGurlz.
Walker, rated as the No. 4 high school player in the country on the ESPNU HoopGurlz list for the nation's top 100, averaged 16.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game last season for Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, PA. She was the 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania.
Williams, an All-State selection as a junior, attends Aurora, CO Regis Jesuit High School. She averaged 11.5 points, 4.2 assists and 3.3 steals per game last season while shooting 60% from the field and 43% from three-point range.
UCLA will close out the regular season schedule by playing seven of its last 11 games on the road. The Bruins do not return to Pauley Pavilion until Feb. 12 (Arizona).
Making The Grade
Four members of the Bruin squad made the UCLA Athletic Director's honor roll (3.0 of better with at least 12 graded units) during the Fall 2008 quarter. Junior Allison Taka continues her streak of making the Director's Honor Roll in every quarter of her academic career. Junior Erica Tukiainen has received her sixth honor roll distinction, and junior Moniquee Alexander earned her first, Freshman Rebekah Gardner earned honors in her first quarter.