LOS ANGELES – The No. 25 UCLA women’s basketball team will host its only exhibition game on Thursday, Oct. 31, hosting Vanguard in Pauley Pavilion. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion
Arena Capacity: 13,800
Time: 7:00 p.m. (PT)
Listen Online: www.uclabruins.com
Internet Audio: Dave Marcus (play-by-play)
PARKING AND TRAFFIC ADVISORY
Fans should note that the Sunset Blvd. exit from the 405 Freeway is closed until December. To access the north side of Pauley Pavilion, exit Wilshire Blvd. East, turn left on Veteran Blvd., then right on Sunset Blvd. From the south side of Pauley Pavilion, fans are encouraged to park in Lot 8 (west side of Westwood Blvd.). From the north side of Pauley Pavilion, fans can park in either Lot 4 or turn right to Charles E. Young Drive North and enter Lot 7. More information about parking at UCLA can be viewed by clicking here. Please note, Lot 6 has been demolished. For a campus map with parking locations click here.
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 40-24 (.625).
The Bruins return two senior starters from last year’s team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons. Leading scorer senior forward Atonye Nyingifa (11.6 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and senior guard Thea Lemberger (8.6 ppg, 2.6 apg) will lead a young but talented squad.
UCLA also returns sophomore guard Nirra Fields (7.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg), who scored the Bruins’ single-game high of 26 points last year in a home win over Princeton (Nov. 25).
The Bruins also regain the services of three players that missed most of last season due to injury. Redshirt junior forward/center Corinne Costa (4.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg) only played five games last year while redshirt freshman guard Lauren Holiday (1.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg) only played in three contests. Both will be back this season, as will redshirt junior guard/forward Rhema Gardner, who missed the entire season with a knee injury. UCLA also retains the services of its newest scholarship player (former walk-on), junior guard Madeline Brooks (0.5 ppg, 0.1 rpg).
The Bruins have already lost two key players for the season as they will be without sophomore guard Kari Korver (4.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg) and junior forward Kacy Swain (3.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg). Both suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) within a week of each other. Korver also had a tear in her lateral meniscus.
However, the Bruins bring in a recruiting class that features freshman guard Dominique Williams (Phoenix, Ariz./St. Mary’s Catholic), freshman forward Paulina Hersler (Södertälje, Sweden/Igelstavikens Gymnasium), freshman center Savanna Trapp (Esko, Minn./Esko HS) and junior center Luiana Livulo (Lisbon, Portugal/Northwest Florida State).
While Trapp is slated to redshirt the season and Hersler might not be available until the start of conference season while rehabilitating from a knee injury, Williams and Livulo will look to make an immediate impact.
UCLA opens the 2013-14 season at Nebraska on Friday, Nov. 8 at 10:00 a.m. (PT). The Bruins will host 13 regular-season home games after playing an exhibition game in Pauley Pavilion versus Vanguard on Oct. 31.
UCLA is ranked No. 25 in the pre-season USA Today/Coaches Poll. The Bruins' 2013-14 schedule is loaded with nationally-ranked teams as a total of seven of them are in the pre-season Top 25. The Bruins have three on the schedule that are ranked in the Top 10. Stanford comes in at No. 3, while Notre Dame is ranked 7th and California is ranked 9th. Also on the Bruins' schedule is No. 11 North Carolina, No. 12 Nebraska, No. 14 Oklahoma and No. 19 Colorado.
ON THE TUBE
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.
RECAPPING LAST YEAR
UCLA posted a 26-8 overall record and a third-place finish in the competitive Pac-12 Conference (14-4) last year. A consistent team all season, the Bruins compiled four separate winning streaks of at least five games, including two streaks of six consecutive victories.
UCLA advanced to the Pac-12 Tournament title game, losing by a 51-49 margin to top-seeded Stanford, before cruising past Stetson, 66-49, in a first-round meeting of the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins’ season ended with an 85-72 setback to Oklahoma in the NCAA Tournament’s second round.
UCLA was selected fifth in the Pac-12 conference’s preseason coaches poll. Stanford was picked to finish first, followed by California, Colorado and Washington. After the Bruins, USC was selected to finish sixth, followed by Utah, Oregon State, Washington State, Arizona State, Arizona and Oregon.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HOSTS
UCLA and Pauley Pavilion will serve as one of 16 first and second round host sites for the 2014 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, the NCAA announced on Oct. 9.
Pauley Pavilion, which hosted the 1984 NCAA Women’s Final Four, will host championship play in women’s basketball for the first time since 1999. The arena hosted two NCAA Championships last year, men’s volleyball and women’s gymnastics.
Washington’s Alaska Airlines Arena was the only other west coast and Pac-12 host site for the opening rounds.
Stanford’s Maples Pavilion was tabbed by the NCAA as one of four Regional host sites. The other three include Louisville (KFC Yum! Center), Notre Dame (Joyce Center) and Nebraska (Pinnacle Bank Arena). The Bruins will play at three of the four Regional sites during the 2013-14 regular season. UCLA opens its season at Nebraska (Nov. 8) and then travels to Notre Dame (Dec. 7). The Bruins will be at Pac-12 foe Stanford on Jan. 24.
The first- and second-round sites will host games either Saturday, March 22, and Monday, March 24 or Sunday, March 23, and Tuesday, March 25, 2014 (dates to be determined).
The 2014 NCAA Regionals will take place March 29-April 1. Game dates and times for each regional site will be released at a later date. Ticket, hotel and travel information for the NCAA Tournament and the first and second round games at UCLA will also be available at a future date.
The 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four will take place April 6 and 8 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.