UCLA Drops 67-57 Battle To USC

Jan. 13, 2002

Los Angeles - Despite a game-high 21 points from Bruin junior Natalie Nakase, the UCLA women'sbasketball team dropped a 67-57 decision to rival USC Sunday before 5,331 in Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins (5-10 overall, 2-5 Pac-10) outscored the Women of Troy, 34-24 in the second half, butwere unable to erase a 20-point halftime deficit. The Bruins narrowed the gap to nine points at 66-57with 20 seconds to play and had possession of the ball, but could get no closer. USC improved itsrecord to 9-7 (5-2 in the Pac-10).

USC broke open what had been a close game in the early going with a 23-8 spurt to end the first halfand led 43-23 at the intermission. Senior forward Carmen Krause sparked the Trojans with eight ofher team-high 14 points coming during that run. USC shot 61% (17-28) in that first half while limitingUCLA to just 24% (8-33) from the field.

Nakase finished the game 5-of-12 from the field, including 11-of-12 from the free-throw line. Itmarked her second straight game with at least 20 points, as she scored a career-high 24 points inher previous outing at Washington State. Senior forward Shalada Allen added 12 points and ninerebounds for the Bruins.

Three USC players joined Krause in double figures - sophomore forward Ebony Hoffman andsophomore guard Aisha Hollans each had 12, while freshman Rachel Woodward scored 11. Hoffmanalso grabbed a game-best 12 rebounds and had four blocked shots.

Both Hoffman and Allen were ejected from the game after getting tangled up with 5:32 to play in thesecond half during a scramble for a loose ball under the UCLA basket. USC was in the lead by a58-43 margin at the time. Each player was assessed a flagrant technical foul (double technical foul)for fighting by the officials and they were both ejected from the game.

USC head coach Chris Gobrecht was also ejected from the game after receiving her secondtechnical foul of the contest with 1:12 remaining in the second half.

'We have got to get something going at home and be a little more aggressive earlier,' said UCLAhead coach Kathy Olivier. 'We can't save our best shot for the second half. We were just coming offa big road win. USC's defensive quickness hurt us today. We were forced to rush a lot of our shots.'

UCLA will host Arizona State in Pauley Pavilion on Thursday night at 7 p.m in its next game.

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