Bruins Host Beavers On Saturday At 2 pm

Jan. 25, 2008

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Gameday Central
GAME 20: Saturday, Jan. 26
OPPONENT: Oregon State (10-9, 3-5)
GAME TIME: 2:00 pm
GAME SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
AUDIO: am 1150; uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Michael Sondheimer (color)

UCLA Hosts Oregon State Saturday
UCLA (10-9, 5-3 in the Pac-10) will host Oregon State (10-9, 3-5) on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 pm. This weekend wraps up the first half of the Pac-10 schedule. The Bruins have six home games and four road contests remaining in the regular season.

Saturday's Game On AM 1150
Fans unable to attend Saturday's game can listen to the broadcast on the radio on am 1150. Dave Marcus and Michael Sondheimer will provide the call.

Bruin Bytes
UCLA has limited its last nine opponents to 65 points or under in regulation for an average of just 59.8 points (538) - UC Riverside, 60; Arizona State, 62; Arizona, 59; Stanford, 56; California, 65; Washington, 57; WSU, 56; USC, 64; Oregon 59. The last time a UCLA team had such a defensive stretch came in the 1974-75 season, when the Bruins limited its first 21 opponents to 63 points or less.

The Bruins rank first in the Pac-10 in rebounding (44.7), steals (10.84), offensive rebounds (15.74) and defensive rebounds (29.0); second in scoring (70.5 ppg) and third in field goal percentage defense (.375).

Two Bruins are averaging in double-figures, led by senior Lindsey Pluimer (14.5 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game). Freshman Nina Earl also averages in double digits with an 10.3 mark. Two other members of UCLA's freshman class are just shy of double digit averages - Darxia Morris, 9.8 and Doreena Campbell, 8.6 ppg.

Since Dec. 8, the Bruins have faced seven NCAA Tournament teams (BYU, defending NCAA champion Tennessee, UC Riverside, Arizona State, Stanford, California and Washington) and two NIT participants (San Diego, Oregon).

About Oregon State
Oregon State is coming off a 59-47 loss at USC on Thursday. Last week, OSU swept the Washington schools, downing Washington by a score of 68-64 and Washington State by a score of 60-35. Beaver freshman Talisa Rhea was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after averaging 21.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in the Washington wins and set a school record with eight three-point shots made against the Cougars. Rhea leads the Pac-10 in three-point shots made with an average of 2.37. Junior Mercedes Fox-Griffin also leads the Conference with a 4.94 assist average. Senior Ashley Allen entered the week leading the Pac-10 in scoring but dropped to second at 17.1 after scoring just two points at USC.

UCLA leads the overall series with Oregon State, 32-17, and has won six of the last seven contests. The two teams split last year, with each winning on the road. The Beavers won the first contest on Jan. 5, 56-52, and the Bruins won by a score of 75-65 on Feb. 3.

Bruins Rally For Win Over Ducks
UCLA rallied from a 14-point second-half deficit to best Oregon 63-59 in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins forced 29 Duck turnovers, 18 in the second half, and used a 19-2 run in later stages of the contest to pull out the win. Lindsey Pluimer led all scorers with 19 points. Doreena Campbell and Tierra Henderson combined for eight of UCLA's 12 second-half steals.

UCLA Drops 64-56 Decision At USC
UCLA nearly overcame a 21-point second-half deficit, closing to within two with a minute remaining, but USC closed out the game with free throws and won by a 64-56 score on Jan. 19. The Bruins scored 13 unanswered points in a three-minute stretch to cut the lead to two, 58-56. UCLA forced a turnover on USC's next possession, but Christina Nzekwe's jumper missed, and USC was fouled on the rebound. Nadia Parker made one of two foul shots, giving UCLA another opportunity to tie, but Lindsey Pluimer's three-point attempt with five seconds to play was blocked by Parker. Pluimer led the Bruins with 15 points, and Tierra Henderson added 12.

Think Pink
The WBCA's (Women's Basketball Coaches Association) initiative is a global, unified effort for the nation's coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in the communities and beyond. In 2007, it was estimated that there would be over 180,000 new cases of breast cancer. Of these, an estimated 41,000 will die from the disease.

The UCLA women's basketball team will host a 'Think Pink' game on Sunday, Feb. 10 against Washington. The game begins at 1:30 pm and will be televised by ESPN2. The Bruins will wear special uniforms to bring further attention to the cause. Those uniforms will later be auctioned off online, with the proceeds going towards breast cancer awareness and research.

All fans attending this game are encouraged to wear pink. To help aid the cause, UCLA will give away special Bruin adidas t-shirts promoting breast cancer awareness to the first 500 fans in attendance. Fans can also receive two-for-one general admission tickets by bringing in a special flyer, which can be downloaded on the UCLA women's basketball website.

Morris Back In Business
UCLA freshman Darxia Morris returned to action in the win over Oregon and came off the bench to score eight points in 20 minutes of action. She sat out three games after spraining her right knee in the second half of the Cal game on Jan 6.

Morris, a freshman guard from Pasadena, CA (Muir HS), was injured during a weekend in which she scored 20 points in an upset win over No. 2 Stanford and added 14 points, including 12 in the second half, against No. 10 Cal. She is currently averaging 9.8 points (third on the team), 2.44 steals (began the week first in the Pac-10 Conference) and 2.9 assists per game. She had started in the previous six games and in 12 games overall this season.

Fresh Faces
The Bruin freshmen, ranked as the No. 4 recruiting class by HoopGurlz.com, have been as good as advertised, playing pivotal roles on the team. Three of the six freshmen have played in all 19 games, while a fourth has seen action in 18 games. Doreena Campbell has made 18 starts, Darxia Morris 12, Nina Earl nine, and Regina Rogers eight. Campbell leads the Bruins in assists (62), is second in minutes (30.5) and ranks second in the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio (1.63). Morris is the Pac-10 leader in steals with an average of 2.47. Rogers ranks second on the team in rebounding (4.9 average), and Candice Brown leads the team with a .522 (12-23) field goal percentage. Five freshmen have been on the court at the same time for the Bruins in several games this season.

First Starts
Four of the five players to earn the starting nod from coach Kathy Olivier in the opener at Cal State Northridge made their first collegiate starts.Sophomores Erica Tukiainen and Moniquee Alexander made their first career starts at Northridge. Tukiainen appeared in all 32 games last season off the bench. Alexander saw action in 31 games last season, but did not start a contest.

Darxia Morris and Doreena Campbell each merited a starting assignment in their first games. It was the first time a Bruin team has started as many as two true freshmen in the first game of a season since the 2002-03 season when Julia Pitts and Nikki Blue were in the starting lineup at Hawaii. The last time the Bruins put out a starting lineup that included more than two freshmen in the starting lineup in the season opener was in the 1996-97 opener against St. Mary's when four freshmen, including three true freshmen, took the floor for the jump (true freshmen - Melanie Pearson, Maylana Martin, Carly Funicello; redshirt freshman Takiyah Jackson).

In game two against Rice, the Bruins started three freshmen - center Regina Rogers and guards Campbell and Morris. Rogers made her first career start in the Rice game. The same group started at Pepperdine. Another freshman received her first starting assignment in game three against Cal Poly, as Nina Earl joined two other classmates (Rogers and Campbell) in the starting lineup.

The Bruins have utilized nine different starting lineups in the 19 games this year and have used the same lineup in three consecutive games just three times. UCLA has started three freshmen in most games this season.

Pluimer Powers Bruins
UCLA's lone senior, forward Lindsey Pluimer, continues to lead the Bruins both on and off the court. Pluimer, a 2007-08 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominee, two-time Academic All-District selection and 2006-07 All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, has started every game since her freshman season for a total of 111 career starts. At Washington, she became only the fifth Bruin to total at least 1,300 points, 650 rebounds and 75 blocked shots for a career, joining Ann Meyers, Necie Thompson, Natalie Williams and Maylana Martin. She is also one of just 13 Bruins to have scored at least 1,000 points and pulled down at least 600 rebounds.

Pluimer currently ranks 13th on UCLA's career scoring list with 1,393 points and is 12th in rebounds with 667 and seventh in blocked shots with 77.

Her Name Is Earl
Freshman forward Nina Earl has been making a name for herself in her freshman season, ranking second on the Bruin squad in scoring with a 10.3 points per game average. Earl has scored in double figures nine times on the year and set career-highs in both scoring and rebounding when she recorded her first career double-double at Arizona (23 points, 10 rebounds). Earl has connected on 45% of her shots from the field and is currently third on the team in three-point field goal percentage at 29.4% (5-17).

Campbell Strong All-Around
Guard Doreena Campbell has been a standout for the Bruins in all categories, averaging 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.5 steals and just 2.1 turnovers per game in 18 starts. She ranks No. 2 in the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio (1.62). Campbell is first on the team in assists (62) and second in minutes per game (30.5). She recorded seven steals in the season opener at Cal State Northridge and had a career-high of eight assists at Arizona State. Campbell missed her only game of the season at Arizona while nursing a sprained ankle. She registered a career-best 38 minutes of action versus Cal. She matched her minutes played best at Washington while recording a new career-high with eight rebounds.

Mo Better
Sophomore center Moniquee Alexander has shown big improvements lately, earning starts in the last 11 games. She had five rebounds against both No. 2 Stanford and No. 10 California and led the team with nine rebounds, including four offensive boards, at Washington. In her last eight games, she is averaging 5.1 rebounds per game. Against No. 1 Tennessee, Alexander scored a career-high 11 points on 5-5 shooting from the field. She equaled that point total against UC Riverside, scoring 11 points, and pulled down a season-high seven rebounds. Alexander had five rebounds and zero turnovers in the game at Arizona State and shot 4-6 from the field for eight points with four boards in the win at Arizona. On the year, she is averaging 4.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game and has played in all 19 games with 12 starts.

Rebounding Rogers
Freshman center Regina Rogers totaled 16 rebounds on Nov. 28 at Pepperdine, including 10 on the offensive end. Her 16 rebounds were the most by a Bruin player since Kristee Porter had 16 boards against Arizona on Jan. 20, 2001. Rogers was ferocious on the defensive boards at Arizona State, recording 13, along with three blocked shots. She added five more boards at Arizona. Rogers is second on the team in rebounds per game (4.9 average) and blocks (12). Her rebounding average ranks 17th in the conference.

Pride Of Pasadena
Former teammates at Pasadena's John Muir HS, Tierra Henderson and Darxia Morris have paired up once again in UCLA's backcourt. Henderson, a junior, and Morris, a freshman, have started together in five games. They rank tied for first on the team in steals, with each totaling 39, and Morris ranks first in the Pac-10 and Henderson fifth in steals per game. Morris is second on the team in assists with 46 while averaging 9.8 points per game. Henderson has long been known as the Bruins' defensive sparkplug, but she has also upped her offensive game this year, averaging 6.9 points and leading the team in scoring with a career-high 15 at Pepperdine. At Arizona, Henderson and Morris were the defensive duo, combining for 13 of UCLA's 17 steals on the day (Henderson with a career-high tying seven and Morris with a career-high six).

Making The Grade
Five members of the Bruin squad made the Director's Honor Roll (3.0 or better with at least 12 graded units) in the Fall Quarter - senior Lindsey Pluimer, sophomores Allison Taka and Alexis Olivier, and freshmen Doreena Campbell and Christina Nzekwe. Pluimer and Taka earned GPAs of 3.5 or above.

Challenging '07-08 Schedule
The Bruins have already played host to the past two NCAA championship teams this season when it welcomed 2005-06 title holder Maryland on Nov. 25 and 2006-07 champ Tennessee on Dec. 19 to Pauley Pavilion. UCLA has now hosted teams ranked No. 1 (Tennessee), No. 2 (Stanford) and No. 3 (Maryland) at the time of the game this season.

In all, the Bruins have battled five teams which won their conference or conference tournaments a year ago - Tennessee (SEC), BYU (Mountain West), UC Riverside (Big West), Stanford (Pac-10), Idaho State (Big Sky).

Nine opponents advanced to play in the NCAA Tournament in 2007 - Maryland, Idaho State, BYU, Tennessee, UC Riverside, Arizona State, Stanford, Cal, and Washington - and three more played in the WNIT - Rice, San Diego, and Oregon. The Bruins finished an 11-game stretch that saw them matching up with nine teams that advanced to post-season play in the 2006-07 season with the game at Washington.

Four of UCLA's opponents are currently ranked in the Top 10 in the AP rankings - No. 2 Tennessee, No. 4 Maryland, No. 7 Stanford, No. 8 California.

Bruins Vs. The Ranks
The Bruins' last victory against a nationally ranked opponent came on Jan. 4, 2008 against No. 2-ranked Stanford (69-56). It marked the first time the Bruin program has ever defeated a team ranked higher than fourth in the Associated Press poll. UCLA had defeated a team ranked as high as fourth on multiple occasions, the last time came on Nov. 28, 2004 in a 63-60 win over #4 Texas.

First To 100 Jerseys
Several Bruin teams will be wearing special jerseys or patches in 2007-08 to commemorate UCLA being the First to 100 NCAA Championships. The women's basketball team will don the new jerseys that have a different-colored 'C' in UCLA. The 'C' signifies the Roman numeral for 100.

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