UCLA Hosts Washington State Friday, Washington on ESPN2 Sunday
Feb. 4, 2008
GAME 23: Friday, Feb. 8
OPPONENT: Washington State (3-18, 0-10)
GAME TIME: 7:00 pm
GAME SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
AUDIO: am 1150; uclabruins.com
UCLA TALENT: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Michael Sondheimer (color)
GAME 24: Sunday, Feb. 10
OPPONENT: Washington (9-13, 4-6)
GAME TIME: 1:30 pm
GAME SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
TV TALENT: Jon Sciambi (play-by-play), Mary Murphy (color)
AUDIO TALENT: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Michael Sondheimer (color)
UCLA Hosts Washington Schools
UCLA (11-11, 6-5 and tied for fourth in the Pac-10) will host Washington State (3-18, 0-10) on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7:00 pm. The game will be aired live on am 1150. On Sunday, Feb. 10, UCLA hosts Washington (9-13, 4-6) at 1:30 pm in a game televised by ESPN2. The Sunday game is a special 'Think Pink' game promoting breast cancer awareness. UCLA will also celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
The WBCA's (Women's Basketball Coaches Association) 'Think Pink' 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.
The UCLA women's basketball team will host a 'Think Pink' game on Sunday, Feb. 10 against Washington. The Bruins will wear special white and pink 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 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.
In this week's Pac-10 rankings, Lindsey Pluimer is one of just three players who find their names listed in as many as seven of the 13 different individual categories for all games. Pluimer is sixth in scoring, fifth in rebounding, third in free throw percentage, seventh in blocked shots, fifth in offensive rebounds and eighth in defensive rebounds. She joins Stanford's Candice Wiggins (first in scoring, third in assists, second in free throw %, third in steals, seventh in 3-pt. shots made, second in assist/turnover ratio and 10th in minutes played) and California's Ashley Walker (fourth in scoring, first in rebounding, sixth in field goal %, fifth in free throw %, second in blocked shots, first in offensive rebounds, and third in defensive rebounds).
Pluimer leads the UCLA team in scoring (14.4 ppg) and in rebounding (6.8 rebounds per game). Three members of UCLA's freshman class are just shy of double digit averages - Nina Earl, 9.5 ppg; Darxia Morris, 9.4 and Doreena Campbell, 8.7.
Since Dec. 8, the Bruins have played 11 of their 15 games against NCAA Tournament teams (BYU, defending NCAA champion Tennessee, UC Riverside, Arizona State, Stanford twice, California twice, Washington) and two NIT participants (San Diego, Oregon).
UCLA had limited nine straight opponents to 65 points or under in regulation before Oregon State registered 70 points on Jan. 26 - 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. Stanford's 75 points were the most scored on the Bruins since Tennessee scored 82 back on December 19.
In its last five games, UCLA has recorded 56 steals (11.2) and forced 111 turnovers (22.2). Doing the most damage in those games have been Doreena Campbell (13 steals), Nina Earl (12) and Tierra Henderson (12).
The Bruins began the week ranked first in the Pac-10 in rebounding (43.5), steals (10.50) turnover margin (+2.09) and offensive rebounds (15.55); second in scoring (69.5 ppg), defensive rebounds (27.91) and third in field goal percentage defense (.388).
UCLA has trailed at the half in its last five games, eventually winning two and losing three. The Bruins shot their two lowest field goal percentages of the season this past weekend at Cal (.324) and Stanford (.323). Stanford tied a UCLA opponent record (Long Beach St. 2/13/85) by blocking 12 shots in Saturday's game.
About Washington State
Washington State is still looking for its first Pac-10 win of the season after a suffering a 44-point loss at Washington on Sunday. The Cougars, who have lost 12 straight, are 3-18 on the year and 0-10 in Pac-10 play. Junior guard Katie Appleton leads WSU (12.6 ppg).
UCLA ran away with a 76-56 victory at Washington State in the earlier matchup on Jan. 12. The Bruins used 66% shooting to take a 56-23 halftime advantage and led by as many as 41 points early in the second half. Nina Earl led four Bruins in double figures with 15 points. Lindsey Pluimer scored 15, and Erica Tukiainen added a career-high tying 12. Doreena Campbell totaled 11.
The Bruins lead the series, 38-6, and have won the last 15 meetings since a 74-52 loss in Pullman on Jan. 6, 2001.
Washington, who is coming off an 84-40 win over Washington State, stands in sixth-place in the Pac-10 standings just behind UCLA and USC. The Huskies play at USC on Friday before facing the Bruins. Washington's first-year head coach Tia Jackson was an assistant coach at UCLA from 2000-05.
UCLA withstood a late rally by the host Huskies and came away with a 59-57 road win on Jan. 10. After leading at intermission, 29-24, the Bruins jumped out to a 13-point lead (45-32) in the second half but then went cold, going scoreless for over five and a half minutes. Freshman Christina Nzekwe broke the drought with a free throw at the 7:04 mark, stopping a 6-0 UW run that cut the lead to four. With the Bruins up by one with nine seconds to play, Washington took the ball up the court for the final possession, and Andrea Plouffe's three-pointer missed just before the buzzer sounded. Lindsey Pluimer led a balanced Bruin attack with 16 points.
UW leads the overall series, 26-19. UCLA's win on Washington's home court in January was the first road win by any team since the Bruins won in Seattle on Jan. 9, 2005.
Stanford Swats Bruins
No. 7-ranked Stanford was looking for retribution after losing by 13 to UCLA in Westwood a month ago. The Cardinal evened the score with a 13-point victory of its own in Maples Pavilion on Feb. 2, 75-62. Stanford used two big runs in the game to pull away from UCLA. In the first half, an 11-0 run gave Stanford a 10-point lead with four minutes remaining in the half. In the second half, it was a huge 23-3 run that turned a five-point game to a 25-point Stanford advantage. Lindsey Pluimer led the Bruins with 16 points, and Erica Tukiainen added 11.
Bears Down Bruins
No. 9/10 California bested the Bruins, 67-53, in Berkeley on Thursday to win its 13th straight home game. The Golden Bears scored the last eight points of the first half to lead by 11 at the intermission. Cal completed a 15-1 run by outscoring the Bruins 7-1 in the first two minutes of the second half to break open a close game. The Bears limited UCLA to a season-low in points. Doreena Campbell was the sole Bruin in double figures points with 10.
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 22 games, while a fourth has seen action in 21 games. Doreena Campbell has made 21 starts, Darxia Morris and Nina Earl 12, and Regina Rogers nine.
Earl ranks second on the team in scoring with a 9.5 points per game average. Campbell leads the Bruins in assists (73) and began the week ranked eighth in the Pac-10 (3.48 assists/g). She ranks third in the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio (1.62) and second on the team in minutes (30.5). Morris was second in the Pac-10 in steals with an average of 2.16. Rogers ranks second on the team in rebounding with a 4.8 average. Candice Brown leads the team with a .480 field goal percentage. Five freshmen have been on the court at the same time for the Bruins in numerous games this season.
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.
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.
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 114 career starts. In the game 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 1,434 points and is 11th in rebounds with 687 and seventh in blocked shots with 80. She needs just four more rebounds to move into UCLA's all-time Top 10 in rebounding.
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 9.5 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 44.6% of her shots from the field.
Campbell Strong All-Around
Guard Doreena Campbell has been a standout for the Bruins in all categories, averaging 8.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.6 steals and just 2.1 turnovers per game in 21 starts. She began the week ranked No. 3 in the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio (1.62). Campbell is first on the team in assists (73) 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 at home versus Cal. She matched her minutes played best at Washington while recording a new career-high with eight rebounds.
Morris Back In Business
UCLA freshman guard Darxia Morris, from Pasadena, CA (Muir HS), suffered a knee injury during a weekend (Jan. 4, 6) in which she scored 20 points in an upset win over then-No. 2 Stanford and added 14 points, including 12 in the second half, against No. 10 Cal. She had started the previous six games and in 12 games overall this season.
Morris sat out two weeks (three games) of action before returning to the court in the win over Oregon (Jan. 24). She came off the bench to score eight points in 20 minutes of action.
Morris is currently averaging 9.4 points (third on the team). She began the week averaging 2.16 steals, which ranked second in the Pac-10 Conference.
Sophomore center Moniquee Alexander has shown big improvements, earning starts in 12 of the last 13 games. She had five rebounds at home against both then-No. 2 Stanford and then-No. 10 California and led the team with nine rebounds, including four offensive boards, at Washington. Against then-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 4.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game and has played in 21 games with 14 overall starts. She sat out the Bruins' last game at Stanford with a concussion, and her status for this weekend's games is unknown at this point.
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 (4.8 average) and blocks (12).
Henderson, a junior, and Morris, a freshman, have started together in five games. They rank first and second on the team in steals, with Henderson totaling 46 and Morris 41. Henderson began the week ranked tied for fourth in steals per game in the Pac-10 (2.09), and Morris was ranked second (2.16). Morris is second on the team in assists with 54 while averaging 9.4 points per game.
Henderson has long been known as the Bruins' defensive sparkplug, but she has also upped her offensive game this year, averaging 7.3 points and leading the team in scoring with a career-high 16 in the comeback win over Oregon State. She also poured in 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).
Challenging '07-08 Schedule
The Bruins have already played host to the past two NCAA championship teams this season, 2005-06 title holder Maryland on Nov. 25; 2006-07 champ Tennessee on Dec. 19. In fact, UCLA has 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 St., BYU, Tennessee, UC Riverside, Arizona St., Stanford, Cal, and Washington - and three more in the WNIT - Rice, San Diego, and Oregon.
Four of UCLA's opponents are currently ranked in the Top 10 in the AP rankings - No. 2 Tennessee, No. 4 Maryland, No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 California.
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.
True freshmen 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 (1st start) and guards Campbell and Morris. 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 22 games this year, with only one group (Nina Earl, Lindsey Pluimer, Moniquee Alexander, Erica Tukiainen and Doreena Campbell) starting more than three games on the year. That particular pairing is 4-2 on the year.
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.