UCLA Defense Shines in 53-38 Victory Over Arizona State
Feb. 23, 2012
LOS ANGELES - Junior Markel Walker recorded a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds and sophomore Thea Lemberger scored all 11 of her points in the second half, as the Bruins held Arizona State to a season low in points in a 53-38 win on Thursday at the John Wooden Center.
The Bruins improve to 13-13 overall and 8-7 in Pac-12 play, while the Sun Devils fall to 18-9 and 9-7 in league.
Walker notched her 10th double-double of the season, going 7-of-16 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free throw line, adding four steals in 39 minutes. Sophomore Rhema Gardner tallied eight points and nine rebounds in a career-high 37 minutes, while senior Rebekah Gardner had nine points, nine rebounds and four assists. The Bruins shot 39.6% (19-48) from the field and made 14-of-20 (70%) from the charity stripe.
The Sun Devils led wire-to-wire in the first half, scoring the first seven points of the ballgame. UCLA came back with the next six on consecutive jumpers by Rhema Gardner, Rebekah Gardner and Walker, but a 13-2 Arizona State run gave the visitors its biggest lead of the half of 12 at 20-8 midway through the opening stanza.
Still trailing 25-16 with five minutes to go until halftime, the Bruins scored the last seven points of the half to close to within 25-23 at intermission. Walker made a jumper and a pair of free throws, freshman Kacy Swain hit a free throw and Rhema Gardner scored a layup to get the home squad to within a pair. Arizona State missed it last 10 shots of the half. Rebekah Gardner paced the Bruins with nine points in the first half, while Walker added eight points in 20 minutes of action. The Bruins shot 36.4% (8-for-22) from the field for the half.
Two free throws by Lemberger on the Bruins' second possession of the second half tied the game at 25, the first tie since the contest started, but the Sun Devils scored the next four to go ahead 29-25. Still down 31-27 with 15:45 left, the Bruins scored 13 unanswered to take their first lead of the ballgame. Jumpers by junior Mariah Williams and Walker tied the game at 31, and a pair from the charity stripe by Walker gave UCLA its first lead at 33-31. Lemberger then scored five in a row on a three-point play and a layup, which was followed by a jumper from Walker to make it 40-31 with 9:16 remaining.
After seven straight misses, the Sun Devils got back on the board to make it 40-33 with 8:19 left, but both teams then went scoreless for the next 3:30 until a pair of free throws by Walker made it 42-33. Following an ASU layup, the Bruins scored five straight on a jumper by Rhema Gardner and a three-point play from Walker to stretch the lead to 12 at 47-35 with 2:36 left. The Bruins' lead never dipped below 10 the rest of the way, as they went on to win it 53-38. Walker posted 13 points and seven rebounds in the second half, Rhema Gardner added four points and six boards and Lemberger recorded 11 points. The Bruins shot 42.3% (11-for-26) in the final 20 minutes.
The Bruins close out their home schedule on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Arizona at the John Wooden Center. Lone senior Rebekah Gardner will be honored prior to the contest. In addition, it will be the Play 4Kay game, as all fans in attendance will receive a pink t-shirt.
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