Bruins Stage Thrilling Comeback, Beat Washington in Overtime
Feb. 2, 2012
LOS ANGELES - UCLA outscored Washington 10-3 over the final 50 seconds of regulation to force overtime and pulled away from the Huskies in the extra session to record a 79-73 victory on Thursday at the John Wooden Center. Senior Rebekah Gardner, whose layup tied the game with two seconds left in regulation, had 17 points and nine rebounds to lead five Bruins in double figures.
The Bruins, who played their first back-to-back overtime games in school history, improve to 11-10 overall and 6-4 in Pac-12 play, while the Huskies fall to 11-9 and 3-7 in league action.
Gardner added five assists and played 43 minutes. Junior Markel Walker posted her third double-double in a row and sixth of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds to go with seven assists in 44 minutes. Sophomore Corinne Costa tied her own school record with seven blocks and had a career-best 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Sophomore Thea Lemberger notched 15 points, three treys and a personal-high four steals in 40 minutes, while junior Mariah Williams added 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting with three treys. Off the bench, freshman Kacy Swain added six points and sophomore Rhema Gardner produced five rebounds. The Bruins shot 43.5% (27-62) from the field for the game.
With the score tied at nine five minutes into the game, the Bruins scored five straight over the next two minutes to take a 14-9 edge. Rhema Gardner made one from the free throw line, and Walker and Swain had back-to-back layups. It was still a three-point lead for the Bruins at 17-14 with eight minutes left when they went on runs of 4-0 and 8-1 to take their first double-digit advantage at 25-15. Jumpers from Swain and Walker made it 21-14. After a Washington free throw, back-to-back jumpers by Rebekah Gardner and Costa increased the lead to 10 with 4:15 left in the half.
Washington came back with the next six to get to within four at 25-21 with a minute remaining, but Walker drained a three in the Bruins' last possession to give the home squad a 28-21 advantage heading into the locker room. Walker had seven points, six rebounds and four assists in the first half, Williams added six points and Costa posted six points and five blocks. The Bruins shot 37.9% (11-29) from the field in the first half.
The Bruins were sluggish to start the second half, scoring only three points in the first seven minutes, as the Huskies came back to tie the score at 31. UCLA responded with a 7-2 run on a layup and free throw by Rebekah Gardner, a free throw from Costa and a three by Lemberger to go up 38-33 with 10:21 to go, but Washington equaled it with a 7-2 run of its own to even things at 40. Tied at 43 with 8:24 left, Washington went on a 14-6 run over the next six minutes to take a 57-49 advantage.
Washington still led 61-53 with 1:23 to go when UCLA started to peck away at its deficit. A three by Lemberger made it 61-56, and after two Washington free throws made it 63-56 with 49 seconds left, a layup by Gardner and two free throws from Lemberger on the next possession cut the deficit to three at 63-60 with 32 seconds to go. After two more Husky free throws, Walker made a pair from the line to make it 65-62 with 18 ticks left.
Following a UW turnover, a layup from Rebekah Gardner made it 65-64 with 14 seconds to go. The Huskies were fouled with 12 seconds left, but made only the front end of a pair of shots, as Rebekah Gardner grabbed the rebound and made the game-tying layup with two seconds to go to even the score at 66 and send the contest into overtime. Gardner had 11 points in the second half, Lemberger added 10, Walker posted eight with seven boards and Costa recorded seven. The Bruins shot 44.8% (13-29) from the field in the second half.
The Bruins' first three points of overtime came at the charity stripe. Up 69-68 with 3:17 to go, Williams scored five straight points on a jumper and a three to make it 74-68 with 1:43 left. A Husky basket cut their deficit to four at 74-70, but Lemberger sent home the dagger with a three with 51 seconds left to make it 77-70, as the Bruins went on to win 79-73. Lemberger and Williams each had five points in the extra session, as the Bruins made three of their four shots and a pair of treys.
The Bruins conclude their two-game homestand on Saturday against Washington State at 2 p.m. at the John Wooden Center. It will be Dads and Daughters Day on Saturday. For more information, go here.
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