March 24, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The UCLA women's basketball team (26-7, 14-4) will face No. 6 Oklahoma (23-10, 11-7 Big 12) on Monday (March 25) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio. The game is slated for a 4:15 p.m. (PT)/7:15 p.m. (ET) tip-off on ESPN2.
While this is Coach Close's first trip to the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, she is no stranger come March to the NCAA Tournament as she went to 15 straight NCAA Tournaments as an assistant coach at Florida State (2005-11) and UC Santa Barbara (1997-2004).
The Bruins went 7-6 this year against the 2013 NCAA Tournament field. UCLA defeated No. 2 seed California (neutral), No. 5 seed Colorado, at No. 6 seed Oklahoma, No. 9 seed Saint Joseph's, No. 9 seed Princeton, at No. 10 seed St. John's and recently over No. 14 Stetson. All six of the Bruins' losses were to Top 2 seeds (three to No. 1 Stanford, two to No. 2 California and one to No. 1 Notre Dame).
UCLA last advanced to the NCAA Tournament in March 2011, also as a No. 3 seed, defeating No. 14 Montana in a first-round matchup before losing to No. 6 Gonzaga in Spokane, Wash., in a second-round contest.
No. 11/12 UCLA (26-7, 14-4 Pac-12), a No. 3 seed, scored the game's first 11 points and defeated 14th-seeded Stetson (24-9, 14-4 Atlantic Sun), 66-49, in the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Bruins will now face No. 6 Oklahoma (23-10, 11-7 Big 12) in the second round in Columbus, Ohio on Monday, March 25 at 4:00 p.m. (PT)/7:00 p.m. ET in St. John Arena. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. The contest is also a rematch of a Nov. 14 matchup where an unranked UCLA team went to No. 11 OU and defeated the Sooners 86-80.
UCLA senior forward Alyssia Brewer graduated from Sapulpa High School in Sapulpa, Okla., which is about 111 miles from Norman, Okla.
While Alyssia Brewer had a monster game with 15 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.
While both teams shot 43% from the floor in this year's earlier meeting, the Bruins won the game by outrebounding OU, 56-34, including 24 offensive rebounds. Both the 56 total rebounds and 24 offensive rebounds are season-highs.
This is just the 5th meeting between the two teams with the series tied at 2-2. Each team is 1-1 on its home floor, making this the first neutral-site meeting between the teams.
The Bruins' first-round win over 14th-seeded Stetson was its 17th-straight win over an unranked team.
UCLA improved to 22-2 on the season when leading at the half. UCLA is just 4-5 when trailing at the half.
The Bruins held Stetson to just 49 points, which improves UCLA's record to 6-0 on the year when their opponent scores less than 50 points. UCLA is 17-1 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points. The only loss was to No. 4 Stanford in the title game of the Pac-12 Tournament (51-49).
The Bruins also held Stetson to 29.0% shooting from the field, improving to 6-0 when they hold their opponent to less than 30% shooting. On the year, UCLA is 15-0 when its opponent shoots less than 35% from the floor. UCLA is also 25-1 when it simply shoots better from the field than its opponent.
BRUINS IN STATISTICAL RANKINGS
UCLA is 3rd in the Pac-12 in scoring (67.3 ppg) and is 4th in the Pac-12 and 23rd in the country in rebounding margin (+7.0). The Bruins lead the Pac-12 and rank 17th in the nation in assists (16.3) and also lead the league in steals (10.2). UCLA is also 2nd in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.423) and 3rd in offensive rebounds (15.5) and three-point field goal percentage (.309).
Seniors Alyssia Brewer and junior Kari Korver and Nirra Fields were both chosen as honorable mention selections to the All-Freshmen Team by the league's head coaches. Markel Walker was also named to the five-member Pac-12 All-Defensive Team by both the media and the coaches.
The senior class of Alyssia Brewer, the class is currently 93-37 (.715), which is second behind the 1981 senior class that went 98-32 (.754). This year's group might have already surpassed the Bruin class that played from 1977-78 to 1980-81, had it not been for last year's 14-16 mark. In that season, Walker missed the first seven games with a thumb injury, Nyingifa missed the last 21 games with a knee injury, Brewer was on the bench due to NCAA transfer rules and Dixon missed the entire season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. The 1980-81 senior group started in 1977-78 as Ann Meyers (Drysdale) led the Bruins to a national championship (AIAW) with a 27-3 record. The Bruins, led by Anita Ortega, were 24-10 in 1978-79 and 18-12 in 1979-80. Then with senior Denise Curry and a couple of freshmen phenoms in Necie Thompson and Jackie Joyner, UCLA won a school record 29 games with seven defeats in 1980-81. UCLA is 26-7 this season after last year's 14-16 mark. UCLA also went 28-5 in 2010-11 and 25-9 in 2009-10, to win 25 or more games in three of the last four years, a feat unmatched in Bruin history.
MISSING IN ACTION
Only three of the 13 Bruins have played in all 33 games this season and nobody has started in more than 28 contests, forcing Head Coach Alyssia Brewer missed most (only played three minutes) of the Pepperdine game (Dec. 28) and missed the entire Saint Joseph's game (Dec. 31) with a right ankle sprain. Markel Walker missed the Arizona game (Jan. 25) with back spasms, but returned for the Arizona State game (Jan. 27). The Bruins have used 193 different combinations of players on the court.