UCLA Women Hand Arizona 84-77 Defeat

Jan. 6, 2006

Box Score

Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA used a career night from freshman center Chinyere Ibekwe (15 points) and a good all-around effort from junior guard Noelle Quinn (team-high 18 points, eight rebounds) to defeat Arizona in Pauley Pavilion Friday night, 84-77.

The Bruins (8-6, 3-2 in the Pac-10) outshot the Wildcats (5-8, 1-4), 51.6-48.2% and forced 22 turnovers to hand Arizona its seventh loss in the last eight games.

UCLA led by as much as 11 in the first half, 40-29, with 53 seconds remaining and enjoyed a 41-31 lead at intermission. Quinn scored 13 of her 18 points in the first period, and Ibekwe and Lindsey Pluimer each had eight.

After UCLA scored the first two points of the second half, the Wildcats scored nine unanswered points to pull to within three with 16:24 remaining, 43-40. The Bruins upped their lead to eight before a Joy Hollingsworth three-pointer cut the deficit to three again, 51-48, with 13:13 to play, but a Malia O'Neal three-pointer with 12:30 to play trimmed the lead to one, 52-51.

Three-point shooting kept the Wildcats in the game, as they made 8-14 three-pointers in the second half and 10-20 overall. Hollingsworth had four of those threes (a new career high) and registered career-best numbers in points (22) and rebounds (12) in the game.

After a Hollingsworth three cut the lead to 76-73 with 2:58 to play, Ibekwe scored on a layup at the 2:37 mark to make the score 78-73 in favor of the Bruins. Natalie Jones converted two free throws with 2:03 to play to cut UCLA's lead to 78-75, and Ortal Oren made it a two-possession game (79-75) with a free throw at the 1:22 mark.

With 56 seconds on the clock, Arizona's Che Oh shot two free throws but missed both. Whitney Fields got the rebound for the Wildcats but missed from close range, and UCLA regained control of the ball. Lisa Willis was fouled on the Bruins' next possession, and she made both free throws to increase UCLA's lead to 81-75. Arizona made one last push in the final minute, with Hollingsworth at the line with 17 seconds left. She made one free throw, then O'Neal earned a trip to the line two seconds later. She made one of two shots. On the inbound play, Quinn was fouled by Hollingsworth, her fifth of the game, and she made one shot to give UCLA a five-point lead with 14 seconds left. Another foul by Arizona in the final seconds sent Nikki Blue to the line, and the senior calmly made both shots to seal the win.

Pluimer and Willis joined Quinn and Ibekwe in double-figure scoring with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Pluimer's total tied her season-high. Willis also totaled four steals to become the new Pac-10 all-time steals leader with 313 and counting. Oren had a season-high nine points and a career-high seven assists.

The Bruins will next host ninth-ranked Arizona State (12-2, 3-1) on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 2 pm in Pauley Pavilion. Arizona State lost its first Pac-10 game of the season at USC tonight, 58-50.

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