Bruins Best Illini, 68-56
Nov. 30, 2003
UCLA improved its record to 2-1 on the season with a 68-56 win over Illinois this afternoon in Pauley Pavilion. The win marked the 150th in head coach Kathy Olivier's 11-year tenure at UCLA. Sophomore guard Nikki Blue, the leading returning Bruin scorer, led UCLA in the game with 16 points. Blue also handed out five assists and keyed the defense with four steals.
The Bruins used 52% first-half shooting to help take a 35-22 lead at the intermission. UCLA built the margin up to as many as 20, 50-30, at the 10:10 mark of the second half. However, after Illinois whittled the lead to 54-46 at the 5:31 mark, sophomore Emma Tautolo sparked the Bruins. Tautolo hit a basket at the 5:16 mark to make it 56-46 and then scored the next four Bruin points on free throws, making it 60-46 with 4:08 to play. The visiting Illini did not get closer than 12 points the rest of the way.
Freshman guard Noelle Quinn helped to get the Bruins going with 11 of her 12 points coming in the first half. She also finished with a game-high total of 11 rebounds. Tautolo added a career-high total of 10 points for the Bruins. Illinois, which fell to 1-3 on the season, was paced by junior forward Tiffany Guthrie's game-high total of 18 points.
The Bruins will remain on the road for the next three games, starting with a Dec. 6 matchup at St. Mary's. UCLA returns home on Dec. 19 to play host to Michigan State at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.