NAPLES, Fla. – The UCLA Bruins (2-2) will take on the James Madison Dukes (4-0) on Nov. 29 in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase in Naples, Fla., at Germain Arena. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. (PT)/8:30 p.m. (ET). There is no television for this tournament, but You can listen to free audio on uclabruins.com.
Venue: Germain Arena
Arena Capacity: 7,082
Date: Nov. 29, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. (PT)/8:30 p.m. (ET)
Listen Online: www.uclabruins.com
Internet Audio: Dave Marcus (play-by-play)
UCLA VS. JAMES MADISON
UCLA will face James Madison for just the third time in program history and the first since 1991. JMU leads the all-time series 2-0, winning in Harrisonburg, Va., 78-72 on Dec. 16, 1991. The Dukes posted a 75-69 win in Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 30, 1990.
UCLA VS. GULF COAST SHOWCASE FIELD
The Bruins are 2-7 all-time against the Gulf Coast Showcase field. The Bruins have never met Grand Canyon, Middle Tennessee, Mississippi State, Southeastern Louisiana or Wright State and are 2-5 against North Carolina State and 0-2 vs. James Madison.
Last year, the Bruins only competed in one preseason tournament, the St. John’s Chartwells Holiday Classic. UCLA won the title with a 76-62 win over Saint Mary’s on Dec. 15 and a 53-52 overtime win over St. John’s on Dec. 16 at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, N.Y.
NYINGIFA NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
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. UCLA, which has faced three top 12 teams in its first four games of the 2013-14 season, improves to 2-2 overall and earns the Pac-12’s first win over a ranked team this season.
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.
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.
The Bruins can boast of having one of the toughest schedules in the country as three of the first four games were against teams ranked in the top 12 (at #12/17 Nebraska, vs. #12/14 North Carolina and vs. #10/13 Oklahoma).
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 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.
BRUINS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
UCLA on ranks in the Top 50 in the country as a team in one statistical category, coming in at No. 48 in turnovers per game (14.0). Senior forward Atonye Nyingifa is the only player ranked in the Top 50 nationally as she is currently ranked in two categories, ranking No. 43 in rebounds per game (10.5 rpg) and No. 47 in scoring (20.5 ppg).
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 42-27 (.618).