UCLA Wins Pac-10 Opener Over Oregon, 82-63
Dec. 20, 2005
Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA broke open a close game with a pair of big runs in the second half, and the Bruin women's basketball team won its Pac-10 opener, 82-63, over Oregon in Pauley Pavilion. Noelle Quinn led four Bruin players in double-figure scoring with 16 points.
Senior point guard Nikki Blue nearly recorded a double-double, totaling 15 points and nine assists. Lindsey Pluimer was two rebounds shy of a double-double with eight boards and 12 points, and freshman Chinyere Ibekwe had a coming-out party, scoring a career-high 12 points on 4-4 shooting from the field.
UCLA came out quick to start the game, taking an early 13-6 lead. The Bruins led by as many as 13, 28-15, after an Ibekwe short-range jumper at the 6:53 mark, but Oregon pecked away at the lead and eventually cut the deficit to six at the half, 37-31, after consecutive baskets by Chelsea Wagner in the final minute.
Oregon took the lead for the first time in the second half, 45-44, after a Carolyn Ganes layup, but UCLA ran off 12-straight points to regain the lead, 56-45, after a Blue three-pointer at 11:48. A pair of free throws by Gabrielle Richards at 11:32 stopped the bleeding temporarily, but the Bruins scored five more unanswered points to reclaim control, 61-47. With the Bruins up 62-51, UCLA went on another big run, 15-2, to blow open the game. A Blue three-pointer with four minutes to play pushed the lead to 23 at 76-53.
Ganes led the Ducks with 15 points. Wagner scored 11 points, and Richards and Cicely Oaks each added 10. Eleanor Haring led Oregon on the boards with nine rebounds.
UCLA (6-4, 1-0 in the Pac-10) outshot Oregon (8-2, 0-1), 51.5%-40.7%, and became the first team this season to shoot above 43% against the Ducks this year. Oregon entered the game ranked second in the nation in field goal percentage defense (29.5%). The Bruins also forced 26 turnovers and made 13 steals. Lisa Willis had a season-high tying six steals for UCLA.
The Bruins will next host Oregon State on Thursday, Dec. 22 at 7 pm, while Oregon travels to USC.
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