LOS ANGELES – UCLA (7-7, 1-1) concludes a four-game homestand when it hosts No. 12/14 Colorado (10-2, 0-1) in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday, Jan. 5. The game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks and is slated for a 7:36 p.m. tip-off.
Venue: Pauley Pavilion
Arena Capacity: 13,800
Date: Jan. 5, 2014
Times: 7:36 p.m. (PT)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Anne Marie Anderson (play-by-play), Tammy Blackburn (analyst)
Listen Online: www.uclabruins.com
Internet Audio: Dave Marcus (play-by-play)
UCLA VS. COLORADO
This is just the seventh meeting between UCLA and Colorado with the Bruins leading the series 4-2. The Bruins have won both of the meetings against the Buffaloes since they joined the Pac-12 Conference. UCLA posted a 62-54 win in overtime in Boulder, Colo., on Jan. 29, 2012 and last year defeated Colorado in Los Angeles, 62-46, on Feb. 1, 2013. In last year’s only meeting, the Bruins were led by Markel Walker’s 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Jasmine Dixon grabbed 10 rebounds in helping the Bruins control the boards 44-29 against the league’s second-best rebounding team. Brittany Wilson scored 12 points and Chucky Jeffery had eight of her 11 points in the second half for the Buffaloes. The Bruins committed a season-high 29 turnovers, including nine in the first seven minutes of the second half when they didn’t miss a shot or a free throw. UCLA was perfect from the floor until freshman Kari Korver missed a 3-pointer at 9:44. The Bruins shot 70 percent in the second half, and 56 percent for the game.
COLORADO IS HARRY POTTER NIGHT!
The game against Colorado is “Harry Potter Night.” Fans are encouraged to come in their finest Hogwarts costume! Fans may also use the promo code HOGWARTS to purchase $4 general admission tickets online. All UCLA students and Alumni Association members get in for free. There will be plenty of Harry Potter themed activities throughout the game including a sorting hat upon the entrance, Harry Potter themed face painting, in-game trivia, movie clips and music, Hogwarts House competitions, a halftime Quidditch game and more!
ON THE TUBE
This year UCLA had the distinction of having the first televised conference game when they hosted USC (Dec. 30) 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 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). The Bruins’ nonconference strength of schedule ranked No. 3 in the country (tops in the Pac-12) and helped the Bruins to a No. 26 overall ranking in the RPI. Twelve of the Bruins’ first 15 opponents have a winning record and UCLA’s nonconference opponents are a combined 113-48 for a .702 winning percentage (Nebraska 11-2; Pepperdine 5-9; North Carolina 12-2; Oklahoma 10-4; James Madison 10-4; Grand Canyon 11-3; NC State 13-1; Notre Dame 12-0; San Diego State 3-8; Minnesota 11-4; Auburn 9-4 and Cal Poly 6-7).
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 and 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 against the Sooners. The win over Oklahoma was UCLA’s 700th victory in program history.
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).
BRUINS IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
UCLA ranks in the Top 100 in the country as a team in two statistical categories, coming in at No. 44 in turnovers per game (14.2) and No. 81 in turnover margin (2.54). Two players rank in the Top 100 in the country as senior forward Atonye Nyingifa ranks No. 87 in total points (230) and sophomore guard Nirra Fields ranks No. 73 in steals per game (2.38 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 47-31 (.603).