UCLA Women Defeat Arizona, 68-59
Dec. 30, 2007
UCLA earned its first Pac-10 victory of the year, defeating Arizona on the road on Sunday afternoon, 68-59. Freshman Nina Earl recorded her first career double-double, with career-highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Lindsey Pluimer added 10 points and nine boards.
UCLA led from start to finish, jumping out to a 9-2 lead to start the game. After Arizona pulled to within three on a Tasha Dickey three-pointer at 8:05 in the half, UCLA scored 10-straight points to jump ahead, 31-18. Arizona got back to within single digits with two minutes to play, but UCLA scored four point in seven seconds on a Candice Brown layup and a Tierra Henderson steal and layup to put the Bruins back up by 13, 39-26. UCLA entered halftime enjoying a 42-30 lead.
The Bruins raced out to a 16-point lead at the top of the second half, 48-32, and led by as many as 18, 57-39, with 9:33 to play. But then Arizona went on a 15-2 run to close to within five, 59-54, with 3:29 to play. Seven of those 15 points came from the free throw line, and six from Dickey three-pointers. The Bruins got some breathing room, however, when Darxia Morris stole the ball and fed to Earl, who was fouled and converted both free throws.
'Nina really responded for us today,' said Olivier. 'She's very poised, and she doesn't play like a freshman. She had a great game.'
UCLA played without guard Doreena Campbell, who sat out with a sprained ankle, and had its other point guard Morris seeing just five minutes of action in the first half after getting into early foul trouble.
'We showed great poise down the stretch, even without our starting point guard, against a team that likes to press,' said UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier. 'When things got a little ugly, we regrouped and called a few time outs. I thought Lindsey Pluimer's leadership really came through during this time, and we came back and showed some poise on the road.'
The Bruins outshot the Wildcats, 45.3%-29.3%, and won the battle of the boards, 43-34. UCLA had 17 steals in the game, including a career-high tying seven from Henderson and a career-best six from Morris.
UCLA improves to 6-7 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-10. Arizona falls to 6-7, 0-2 in the Pac-10.
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