UCLA Women's Basketball Hosts BYU Tuesday In Home Opener

Nov. 21, 2005

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Bruins Host BYU on Nov. 22 -- The Bruins (0-1) host BYU (1-0) on Tuesday in the home opener to be played in Pauley Pavilion at 7 p.m. The Bruins have gone 29-9 at home over the past three seasons.

UCLA travels across town to play on Friday and Saturday in the LMU/Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Tournament. The Bruins meet nationally-ranked Georgia at 5 p.m. on Nov. 25 (Charlotte and Loyola Marymount University play in the other contest). The Bruins could open up the regular season facing four straight teams which advanced to post-season play a year ago (Baylor and Georgia were in the NCAA tournament; BYU and Charlotte played in the WNIT).

On Air -- All of UCLA's games in 2005-06 will be audio broadcast live on UCLA All-Access via UCLABruins.com. Play-by-play announcer Dave Marcus will begin coverage with The Bruins Countdown Show starting five minutes before the hour.

About BYU -- BYU finished the 2004-05 season with a 19-11 record. The Cougars were third in the Mountain West Conference and advanced to play in the Women's NIT, where it lost a first round matchup with Gonzaga.

The Cougars opened the 2005-06 season last week by winning at Cal State Northridge, 76-59. Six-two senior forward Ambrosia Anderson led the Cougars with 25 points and nine rebounds. Six-three junior center Dani Kubik added 22 points and seven boards. BYU rallied from a 40-26 halftime deficit to defeat CSUN.

Series vs. BYU -- UCLA leads the series with BYU by an 8-2 margin. UCLA won the last meeting, played on Nov. 27, 2001, by a score of 73-62 in Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA In Season Openers -- UCLA is 23-8 all-time in home openers. The Bruins defeated Clemson, 83-52, in last season's opener. The Bruins have won four straight home openers with wins over Clemson, UNLV, St. Mary's and Ohio State.

Looking Ahead -- UCLA's next home contest is on Wednesday, Nov. 30 against UC Irvine at 7:00 p.m.

Bruins Fall to Defending National Champs in Season Opener -- Baylor defeated the Bruins 93-85 in Waco,TX despite 22 points from Lisa Willis and 20 from Noelle Quinn. Baylor led for almost the entire game, but not by more than six points in the first half and had a 47-43 advantage at the break. The Lady Bears opened up their first double-digit lead of the contest, 79-69, at the 5:03 mark of the second half and built it up to as many as 14, 88-74 with 2:20 to play. UCLA battled back to close the gap to seven, 92-85, on a three-point shot by Willis with 15 seconds remaining. UCLA then the stole the ball in the Baylor backcourt, but a Tierra Henderson three-point attempt did not fall and UCLA was forced to foul with seven seconds to play. Baylor hit one free throw to make the final score 93-85.

Bruins Use Balanced Attack In Exhibition Games -- Thirteen of UCLA's 14 uniformed players scored in both exhibition games as the Bruins swept through the pre-season with wins over Love and Basketball (86-75) and Play Mode (103-62). In the win over Love and Basketball, nine players scored seven points or more, with junior guard Noelle Quinn leading the way with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Lisa Willis, Chinyere Ibekwe and Ashlee Trebilcock scored nine points apiece, and Nikki Blue had seven points with nine assists, five rebounds and four steals. Lindsey Pluimer tied with Quinn for the team lead in rebounds with eight. Against Play Mode, four players were in double-figures for scoring, with Quinn and Willis tied for the team lead with 21 points apiece. Pluimer had 17 points on 5-7 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds, and Amanda Livingston scored 10 on 5-6 shooting. Quinn again led the team in rebounding with nine boards. Willis had six rebounds and was 5-7 from the three-point line.

What's Returning ? -- 99% of the total field goals made; 100% of the games started; 99% of the minutes played; 98% of the rebounds pulled down; 100% of the three-point field goals made; 99% of the assists handed out; 100% of the steals made; 98% of the blocked shots made.

Bruins in the Pre-Season Polls -- The Bruins were picked No. 16 by the Lindy's College Basketball Magazine (ranked opponents are Georgia-4, Baylor-5, Stanford-11, Oklahoma-20, USC-21,Arizona State-24). The Women's Basketball News Service selected UCLA No. 22. ESPN.com has UCLA at No. 21.

Blue, Quinn Garner Pre-Season Honors -- Nikki Blue was selected to the first team and Noelle Quinn to the third team by the Women's Basketball News Service. Blue was selected as one of 25 candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy for Division IA Player of the Year. Blue and Quinn were among 30 players chosen to the pre-season Wooden Award watch list. Blue and Quinn were also selected to the pre-season All-Pac-10 team. This is Blue's third consecutive pre-season honor and Quinn's second.

Media Tabs Bruins for Second in the Pac-10 -- The Bruins were selected to finish second in the media poll announced at the annual conference media day. Stanford, with 10 first place votes, was picked to finish first with 127 total points. UCLA had two first place votes and 109 points. USC had one first place vote and 103 points. Arizona State had 101 points followed by Oregon (66), Arizona (59), Cal (43), Washington State (25) and Oregon State (17).

Coaches Pick Bruins To Finish Fourth In Pac-10 -- The Pac-10 women's basketball coaches picked UCLA to finish fourth in the conference in the annual pre-season poll. Stanford, with nine first-place votes, was the solid choice to finish first. The Cardinal (81 points) were followed by USC (one first-place vote, 70), Arizona State (62), UCLA (60), Oregon (43), Arizona (42), Washington (36), California (30), Washington State (16) and Oregon State (10).

2005-06 Outlook -- Coach Kathy Olivier is set to return one of the nation's finest backcourts with its 'Triple Threat' of Blue, Quinn and Willis. The threesome combined to average 50.2 points, 19.0 rebounds, 10.5 steals and 11.9 assists a game in 2004-05. Overall, 11 letterwinners (all five starters) are back for the Bruins from last season's 16-12 team which finished 10-8 and sixth in the Pac-10 conference. Three talented newcomers have joined the mix to step up the competition level at several positions.

Blue and Willis ranked fourth and fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring last season. Quinn was on track to join them until she was sidelined by a knee injury in mid-January. The pair ranked first and second in the conference in steals. Willis was ranked sixth in the nation in steals and Blue checked in at 11th. Willis ranked No.1 in the Pac-10 in three-point field goals made and tied for 25th in the nation. Blue was second in the conference in assists and 12th in the nation in that category.

Quinn, who had been selected Pac-10 Player of the Week three times earlier in 2004-05, saw her season end early when she landed awkwardly on her knee while driving the lane for a shot against Arizona. She underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee a few days later and sat out the remainder of the year. The Bruins went 5-7 the rest of the way.

Forwards Amanda Livingston and Lindsey Pluimer are the other returning starters. Livingston ranked eighth in the conference in offensive rebounds and ninth in field goal percentage. Pluimer earned first-team All-Pac-10 All-Freshman honors. She ranked sixth in the conference in rebounding and 18th in scoring.

Seniors Emma Tautolo and Ortal Oren will look to expand their roles at forward and guard, respectively. Senior volleyball standout Brittany Ringel is concentrating solely on basketball for the first time in her career.

Juniors Consuelo Lezcano and Shaina Zaidi each return with a year of experience under their belts. Lezcano saw action in 26 games and showed outstanding promise. Zaidi was in action for 13 games last season and provides another solid ballhandling option.

Redshirt junior forward Julia Pitts returns after taking last year off to recover from multiple knee surgeries. Sophomore guard Lauren Pedersen started 11 games down the stretch and finished third on the team with 20 three-point shots.

Coach Olivier welcomes three outstanding newcomers to the team. Parade Magazine All-America guard Ashlee Trebilcock (Hart HS) averaged 22.1 points per game as a prep senior. Guard Tierra Henderson (Muir HS) averaged 16.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.0 steals last season. 6-4 post player Chinyere Ibekwe averaged 23.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots a game as a high school senior.

Team Notes -- Defensively, the team ranked 11th nationally in steals per game (11.96). The opponent shooting percentage of .400 ranked as the fourth-lowest in school history. UCLA led the Pac-10 in steals and turnover margin for the second year in a row.

Offensively, UCLA netted a school record .717 of its free throws. The team made 148 three-point shots, the second-best total in school history, and shot .340 from beyond the arc, the fifth-best school mark. The scoring average of 72.0 points per game rated as the 18th-best total in the nation.

Willis Wins Gold -- Lisa Willis, the school's all-time three-point shot leader with 186, earned a gold medal as a member of the USA team at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey this past summer. Willis totaled 13 points, including three three-pointers in the gold medal game against Serbia-Montenegro. She also had 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in the semifinal win over Russia. Willis scored eight points in the quarterfinal round win over Taiwan. She totaled eight points and five steals in a win over China. The senior had eight points in the opening round win over the Czech Republic.

Bruins Enjoy Summer in Australia -- The Bruins spent June 24-July 2 in Australia and went 3-1 on its tour. Noelle Quinn and Lisa Willis each scored 22 points to lead the way for the Bruins in a 87-57 win over Sutherland. Willis scored 34 points in the overtime win against the Junior National team. Willis had 21, Lindsey Pluimer added 19 and Quinn totaled 16 in a 83-70 win over Bankstown. Quinn led the Bruins with 27 points in a 81-72 loss to Townsville. Willis and Quinn each averaged 20-plus points per game in Australia, with Willis leading the way with a 22.5 ppg average. Quinn averaged 20.5 ppg.

San Jose to Host Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament -- The 2005-06 season will conclude with the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament to be played once again this season at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA on March 3-6. All conference schools will participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the conference's automatic bid to the 2006 NCAA tournament. The team that finishes the regular season atop the Pac-10 standings is the conference champion.

Challenging Schedule Ahead For Bruins -- Once again, UCLA's schedule will be a challenging one, as the Bruins could play the first four games of the regular season against teams which advanced to post-season play last season (Baylor, Georgia - NCAA and Charlotte, BYU - WNIT). The Bruins will face local teams from UC Irvine, Pepperdine and UC Santa Barbara. A two-game road trip takes them to Clemson and Oklahoma. In addition, the Bruins will face the usual Pac-10 Conference foes.

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