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The Bruins swept the Trojans last year and have won six of the last eight over USC.
UCLA Opens Pac-12 Play with Crosstown Rival USC
By: UCLA Athletics

LOS ANGELES – UCLA (6-6, 0-0) opens Pac-12 play with crosstown rival USC (7-5, 0-0) in Pauley Pavilion on Monday, Dec. 30. The game is the second of a four-game homestand and will tip-off at 7:06 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

Venue: Pauley Pavilion
Arena Capacity: 13,800
Date: Dec. 30, 2013
Times: 7:06 p.m. (PT)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Anne Marie Anderson (play-by-play), Mary Murphy (analyst)
Listen Online:
Internet Audio: Dave Marcus (play-by-play)

This is the 81st meeting between UCLA and USC with the Trojans leading the series 45-35. The Bruins have won six of the last eight meetings, including sweeping the Trojans last year in back-to-back games in a span of six days. The Bruins posted a 68-54 win at USC on Feb. 19 and then a 63-58 victory on Feb. 24 in Pauley Pavilion. In the win at USC, the Bruins led the entire way, cruising to a 27-point lead with seven minutes to go before the Trojans trimmed it to the final 14-point margin. USC shot just 28 percent from the floor, compared to UCLA’s 43 percent. The Bruins also won the battle of the boards, 49-40. The Bruins were led by Atonye Nyingifa’s game- and season-high 22 points (11-of-14 shooting). USC was led by Cassie Harberts, with 17 points and nine rebounds. Nirra Fields and Thea Lemberger each scored 12 points as UCLA held off USC’s second-half rally to beat the Trojans in the Bruins’ home finale. Lemberger made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win for the 17th-ranked Bruins. Markel Walker added 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Harberts again led USC with a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds. Ariya Crook was the only other Trojan to reach double figures, finishing with 16 points.

The Bruins open Pac-12 play on Monday, Dec. 30 with cross-town rival USC at 7:00 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks in Pauley Pavilion. Each Dad's and Daughter's Day ticket package is $15.00 and you get one general admission game ticket to sit along the sideline in the 100 section numbered rows. You will also receive your exclusive Dad's & Daughter's shirt. Shirts will be available in several youth sizes in addition to adult sizes. Shirts can be picked up inside Pauley Pavilion starting at 6pm through halftime. You will also receive a voucher for a hot dog and 16 oz. soft drink at any "UCLA Homestand" location in Pauley Pavilion. You will be able to treasure the event with a photo of your group taken in front of a UCLA backdrop. Photos will be available for download on UCLA Women's Basketball Facebook page. There is one additional activity, which is a postgame "Meet the Team" Autograph Session. Please click here
for more information on Dad's and Daughter's Day.

This year UCLA will have the distinction of having the first televised conference game when they host USC on Dec. 30, 2013 (7:00 p.m.) and the last televised conference game on March 2, 2014 when they visit Utah (1:00 p.m.). The Bruins will be making a total of 18 television appearances, the most in school history, during the 2013-14 regular season.

UCLA was selected to finish fifth in both the Pac-12 conference’s preseason coaches and media polls. Stanford was picked to finish first, followed by California, Colorado and Washington. After the Bruins, USC was selected to finish sixth, followed by Utah and Oregon State.

UCLA forward Atonye Nyingifa (Torrance, Calif.) established or tied six career-highs in leading the Bruins to an 82-76 upset win over No. 10/13 Oklahoma at Pauley Pavilion on Nov. 24 and was named Pac-12 Player of the Week. Nyingifa tied her career-best with a game-high 28 points with career-bests in free throws made (12) and free throws attempted (15). She completed her second straight double-double against a ranked team with a career-high 16 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. The sixth-year senior also handed out a career-high six assists, added three steals and one block against the Sooners. The win over Oklahoma was UCLA’s 700th victory in program history.

The Bruins can boast of having one of the toughest schedules in the country as four of its nonconference games were against teams ranked in the top 12 (at #12/17 Nebraska, vs. #12/14 North Carolina, vs. #10/13 Oklahoma and at #4/5 Notre Dame).

In the Bruins’ 78-68 setback to No. 12 North Carolina, UCLA had three players record double-doubles (Atonye Nyingifa - 18 pts., 11 rebs.; Nirra Fields - 12 pts., 10 rebs.; Lauren Holiday - 10 pts., 11 rebs.). They became the first trio of Bruins to record a double-double in the same game in over 23 years. In a 79-65 home win over Oregon on Feb. 23, 1990, Sandra VanEmbricqs (22 pts., 14 rebs.), Michele Wooton (17 pts., 10 rebs.) and Rehema Stephens (12 pts., 10 rebs.) were the last to pull off that feat.

In UCLA’s 82-78 home win over Pepperdine (Nov. 11), the Bruins had three players score 20 or more points in the same game (Thea Lemberger 25 pts., Atonye Nyingifa 24 pts., Nirra Fields 20 pts.). It marked the first time since a 91-58 home win over Oregon State on Jan. 31, 2004 (Noelle Quinn 24 pts., Nikki Blue 23 pts., Lisa Willis 21 pts.) that that feat has been matched.
The Bruins duplicated that feat in the 96-89 win over Cal Poly (Dec. 28) when Nirra Fields (36 points), Thea Lemberger (23 points) and Atonye Nyingifa (23 points), combined to score 82 of UCLA’s 96 points.

In the win over Cal Poly, the Bruins had several great individual and team performances. The 96 points scored by UCLA in the win were the most in nearly four years or 125 games (defeated Oregon at home, 104-80, on Jan. 28, 2010). Senior forward Atonye Nyingifa was 11-for-18 from the free throw line. The 18 attempted free throws were a career-high and the second-most in school history (20, Necie Thompson, 2/18/83 vs. CS Fullerton, 11-for-20). Nirra Fields’ career-high of 36 points vs. the Mustangs were the most since Nikki Blue scored 36 against Arizona State on Mar. 5, 2005. The total is tied for the 11th-highest single game performance in UCLA history. Fields also made a career-high five three-pointers against Cal Poly.

In the 66-60 loss to Auburn (Dec. 21, 2013), the Bruins had two individual standout performances. Corinne Costa, who has the UCLA single-game record for blocks with seven, tied it for the third time against the Tigers. Nirra Fields also had a career-high eight steals, which was the most since Markel Walker had eight in a win over Hawai’i (Nov. 19, 2009).

UCLA ranks in the Top 100 in the country as a team in two statistical categories, coming in at No. 58 in turnovers per game (14.7) and No. 80 in turnover margin (2.55). Two players rank in the Top 100 in the country as senior forward Atonye Nyingifa ranks No. 80 in steals (2.36 spg) and freshman guard Nirra Fields ranks No. 98 (2.27 spg).

Head Coach Cori Close enters her third year with the Bruins after guiding UCLA to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and a Pac-12 Tournament runner-up finish. She sports an overall record of 46-30 (.605).

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