UCLA Slides Past Washington, 86-81

Feb. 3, 2005

WESTWOOD, CALIF. - Junior guard Kayla Burt set career-highs with 20 points and eight rebounds, but costly turnovers and missed free-throws down the stretch doomed Washington as UCLA defeated the Huskies, 86-81, in Pac-10 women's basketball action at Pauley Pavilion, Thursday night.

Washington outshot and outrebounded UCLA, but 21 turnovers and a 54.2 percent mark from the free-throw line proved to be the deciding factor. The loss drops the Huskies to 9-13 overall and 5-7 in Pac-10 play, while UCLA improves to 14-7, 8-4 against conference opponents.

Burt was one of four Huskies to reach double-figures including sophomore guard Cheri Craddock (11 points), sophomore forward Jill Bell (10) and sophomore forward Breanne Watson (10). Burt scored 13 of her 20 points in the second-half and matched her career-high with four three-pointers. As a team, Washington made 10 treys, tying its season-high.

For UCLA, Nikki Blue had 23 points, eight assists and eight steals, while Lindsey Pluimer added 21 points and eight rebounds. Pluimer scored the first 10 points of the game for UCLA. Amanda Livingston had 17 points before fouling out, while Lisa Willis contributed 17 points on four three-pointers.

Washington trailed UCLA 31-29 at halftime but quickly turned that into a three-point lead as UW opened the second-frame on a 7-2 run in which freshman guard Dominique Banks had five of her nine points. That began a furious second-half shooting performance by both teams that traded basket-for-basket until the final three minutes. Washington shot 51.6 percent (16-31) from the field in the second frame, only to be outdone by UCLA's 56.7 clip (17-30).

The Bruins had an answer to nearly every Husky field goal in the second-half. Washington made six three-pointers in the first 11 minutes of the second-half and every one was answered with either a basket or a three-pointer from UCLA. Each of those six treys gave Washington a lead when it was trailing. UCLA answered four of those treys with a three-pointer of its own to either tie or take a slim lead.

The score was tied 14 times in the second-half, with the Huskies taking the largest lead of either team (four points) with just over 14 minutes to play. Washington seemed to have a leg-up when Livingston fouled out and technical was called on Blue after she had just committed a foul at 3:25. Holding a 77-76 lead, UW had four straight free-throw attempts. Burt and Watson each missed their first attempt but made their second to give UW a 79-76 lead.

But with 2:55 left in the game, the Bruins finished with a 10-2 run that included five free-throws on six attempts. Willis put the nail in the coffin with a three-pointer at 1:19 to give UCLA a five-point cushion, 85-81. Washington committed two costly turnovers in the last minute, including an errant pass by Bell that sailed out of the reach of Kristen O'Neill when UW was down by just four with 20 seconds remaining.

Washington finished the game 13-for-24 from the line, while UCLA went 19-for-26.

UCLA led by as many as eight points in the first half. Washington ended the half on a 13-7 run to trail by just two, 31-29, at the intermission.

Washington will continue its stay in Southern California and will face USC Saturday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. at the LA Sports Arena.

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