Bruins Host Pepperdine Thursday
Dec. 6, 2005
Bruins Head Home -- The 22nd-ranked (AP), 25th-ranked (ESPN/USA Today) UCLA women's basketball team (4-3), winners of four of the last five games, will return home to Pauley Pavilion on Thursday to host Pepperdine (1-5) at 7 p.m. The Bruins will not play again until a Dec. 17 game at UC Santa Barbara as they break for exams the week of Dec. 12.
The Bruin scoring average of 81.3 points per game ranks 10th in the nation in the first NCAA statistical listing of the season. UCLA's field goal percentage of .469 ranks 19th nationally.
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 Pepperdine -- The Waves own a 1-5 record and have lost four straight contests. Pepperdine has lost at Washington State (57-66), at Detroit (64-72) and at Michigan State (64-82). It has a home win over UC Riverside (51-44) and home losses to Indiana State (73-91) and Hofstra (59-75). Guard Daphanie Kennedy leads three Waves in double digit scoring with a 12.5 average.
Quinn Named Pac-10 Player of the Week -- Junior guard Noelle Quinn earned her sixth career Pac-10 Player of the Week honor, being selected after her 24-point performance in a win against UC Irvine (11/30) and a 19-point, 14-rebound effort in a victory at Clemson (12/3). Quinn added a career-high tying three blocks and team-high six assists in the UCI win. The 14 rebounds at Clemson were one shy of her career-best and gave her a total of 14 career double-doubles.
UCLA Falls At Oklahoma-UCLA's rally from a 19-point second-half deficit fell short and Oklahoma dealt the Bruins an 83-78 setback, ending a four-game Bruin win streak. The Bruins fell behind 40-28 at the half and trailed 62-43 midway through the second half. A furious rally helped slice the Sooner's lead down to one point, 78-77 with 1:14 to play, but the Bruins never gained the lead. Nikki Blue led UCLA with 23 points.
UCLA Bests Clemson - UCLA won its fourth straight game, 76-63, at Clemson on Saturday. Noelle Quinn scored at team-best 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Bruins. Nikki Blue came up just short of a triple-double for with 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Blue, Willis Up For Senior CLASS Award -- Senior guards Nikki Blue and Lisa Willis are amongst 30 players up for the 2005-06 Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award. The award is given annually to the nation's senior player-of-the-year for NCAA Division I men's and women's basketball.
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.
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 (third time) and Quinn (second time) were also selected to the pre-season All-Pac-10 team.
Bruins in the Pre-Season Polls -- The Bruins were picked No. 16 by the Lindy's Magazine. The Women's Basketball News Service selected UCLA No. 22. ESPN.com had UCLA at No. 21.
Media Tabs Bruins for Second in the Pac-10 -- The Bruins were selected second in the annual media poll. Stanford, with 10 first place votes, was picked to finish on top (127 points). UCLA had two first place votes and 109. USC had one first place vote and 103. Arizona State (101), Oregon (66), Arizona (59), Cal (43), Washington State (25) and Oregon State (17).
Coaches Pick Bruins To Finish Fourth In Pac-10 -- Stanford (81points), with nine first-place votes, was the choice to finish first and were followed by USC (one first-place vote, 70), Arizona St. (62), UCLA (60), Oregon (43), Arizona (42), Washington (36), Cal (30), Washington St. (16) and Oregon St. (10).
The Triple Threat -- Coach Kathy Olivier returns 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. 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 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.
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 Sign Four in Early Period -- On Nov. 15, Coach Olivier announced the signing of four high school standouts -- Moniquee Alexander of the Pendleton School at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL; Amy Horton of Haralson County HS in Georgia; Erica Latimer of Windward HS in Los Angeles; Jerica Williams of Mount Miguel HS in the San Diego area.Alexander, a 6-6 center originally from Narbonne HS in Harbor City, CA, was an All-City Player and LA City Champion while at Narbonne. She transferred to the Pendleton School in 2004-05 where she was an All-State performer.
Horton, a 5-11 small forward from Tallapoosa, GA, averaged 28 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 50% from the floor last season. She was a Street and Smith's honorable mention All-American in 2005 and a two-time All-State first-team selection in both 2003 and 2004.Latimer, a 6-0 small forward, averaged 13.6 points as a junior. She is a three-time All-CIF selection and was previously MVP of Finland's Junior National team.
Williams, a 5-9 guard from LaMesa, CA, averaged 18.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and four steals en route to earning CIF San Diego Player of the Year honors. She has led her Mt. Miguel HS team to three straight CIF Div. II titles and to a berth in the CIF Southern California finals in 2005.