July 29, 2012
Team USA victories in men's basketball, men's water polo and men's volleyball highlighted action for UCLA Olympians on Sunday. Additionally, former UCLA rowing assistant Mark Hunter advanced to the semifinals of the lightweight double sculls to take one step closer to defending his gold medal.
Kevin Love finished with 14 points, second-highest on the team, and Russell Westbrook added nine points, four rebounds and three assists to help lead the USA men's basketball team past France, 98-71, in Team USA's opening game at the London Olympics on Sunday. The United States jumped to a 52-36 advantage by halftime and held on for the win, outscoring France by a 46-35 margin in the second half.
Seeking a second consecutive gold medal to match the one they won in Beijing four years ago, Team USA pulled away after holding a 22-21 lead in the first quarter. Sunday's victory marked the first Olympic contest for any former UCLA men's basketball player since 1996, when Reggie Miller represented the United States on that team. Team USA returns to action against Tunisia on Tuesday, July 31. Game time is 2:15 pm PT.
Men's Water Polo
Former UCLA player and current head coach of the Bruins' men's water polo team, Adam Wright, helped the U.S. men's water polo team to an 8-7 preliminary-round victory over Montenegro on Sunday at London's Water Polo Arena. Wright started the match and played in 22 of the 32 minutes, picking up a steal on the first possession of the match and then earning an assist on Team USA's first goal of the match, setting up Ryan Bailey with 1:32 left in the first period to tie it at 1-1. Wright later scored his first goal of the tournament, lofting a lob shot that beat the keeper to give the U.S. a 5-3 lead with 5:25 left in the third quarter. Former UCLA goalkeeper Chay Lapin did not play.
The victory puts Team USA at 1-0 in Group B standings. They meet Romania in their next match on Tuesday, July 31 at 11:40am PT.
Former UCLA Rowing assistant coach Mark Hunter and his partner Zac Purchase won their preliminary heat in the lightweight double sculls in a time of 6:36.29. Hunter and Purchase, the defending Olympic gold medalists, advance to semifinals A/B. U.S. rower Julie Nichols, who earned her Master's in Mechanical Engineering at UCLA and is currently a UCLA Ph.D student, partnered with Kristin Hedstrom to finish third in Heat 2 in a time of 7:08.46. Nichols/Hedstrom will next race in the repechage on Tuesday, July 31 at 2:10am PT.
UCLA men's volleyball head coach John Speraw is an assistant coach for the U.S. team, which won its Olympic opener against Serbia, 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-21). The U.S. will next face Germany on July 31 at 8:45am PT. UCLA women's volleyball head coach Michael Sealy is also on the Team USA staff as a scout coach.
Jean-Julien Rojer had his Olympic debut postponed due to rain. Rojer and his partner Robin Haase were scheduled to play today against India's Leander Paes/Vishnu Vardhan.
Gymnast Anna Li provided an update after training in Birmingham as a replacement athlete. UCLA Men's Volleyball head coach John Speraw and UCLA Assistant Athletic Director Mike Sondheimer also checked in on July 29.
2008 Olympic silver medalist and current UCLA gymnast Samantha Peszek was a guest on am570 RAW on Saturday to talk Olympics and more: Listen to the podcast here.
Kevin Love stepped up with a big game against France and "burned the doghouse down", writes NBC Sports
Coming Up MondayWomen's Water Polo - Head coach Adam Krikorian and players Kelly Rulon and Courtney Mathewson lead Team USA against Hungary in the team's Olympic opener at 11:40am PT. Watch at 1:30pm on NBC or live online at NBCOlympics.com.
Tennis - The Netherland's Jean-Julien Rojer plays a first-round doubles match with partner Robin Haase against India's Leander Paes/Vishnu Vardhan in a rain-delayed match at 9:30am PT.
Women's Volleyball - The USA women play Brazil at 8:45am PT. UCLA Hall of Famer Karch Kiraly is an assistant coach for the American squad. The match will be televised on NBC at 10:30 am and streamed online at NBCOlympics.com.
UCLA undergraduate student Rena Wang plays her opening badminton match at 12:30am PT. Watch online at NBCOlympics.com. NBC Sports Network will provide delayed coverage at 3am PT.
Former UCLA student Silas Stafford races in the men's rowing pair repechage for a chance to advance to the semifinals. Stafford and partner Tom Peszek will race at 2:10am PT. Watch online at NBCOlympics.com. NBC will have delayed coverage at 9:30am PT.