UCLA Drops Season Opener to Illinois State

Nov. 14, 2009

Box Score

The UCLA women's basketball team opened up its season on Saturday afternoon with a 61-56 loss against Illinois State in a first round game at the University of Iowa KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge.

Illinois State took a 27-23 lead at halftime and never surrendered it in the second half of the game. The Bruins went down by as many as 11 points in the second half as the Redbirds enjoyed a 46-35 advantage with 9:04 on the clock. However, UCLA battled back and managed to tie the game at 51-all with 2:12 on the clock on a basket and a free throw by junior guard Darxia Morris. Morris then hit a couple of free throws to knot the game at 53-all with 1:48 remaining. An ISU three-point shot put the Redbirds up 56-53 with 1:29 to play. Junior guard Doreena Campbell's basket made it 56-55 with 1:13 remaining. ISU nailed both ends of a double bonus free throw situation with 51 seconds on the clock for a 58-55 margin. UCLA then missed three shots on its next trip down the court before having to foul. ISU made both ends of the double bonus with 10 seconds left for a five-point cushion. UCLA once again misfired on offensive end and a final ISU free throw made it 61-56.

Illinois State, regular season champion of the Missouri Valley Conference a year ago, took its biggest lead of the first half at 27-23 just before the halftime break. Neither team led by more than five points in the first half. UCLA earned its five- point margin early as it scored the first five points in the contest. The Redbirds came back to tie the game at 5-5 at the 16:38 mark and the biggest lead for either team after that was four. The game was tied on four occasions overall in the half and the lead changed hands five times. ISU took the lead for good in the half on a basket by Maggie Krick with 2:24 on the clock and the Redbirds went up by four on a rebound basket by Emily Hanley with 25 seconds left. UCLA shot just 25% in the first half connecting on 9-36 shots.

UCLA shot just 29.9% for the game and lost the battle of the boards 44-37. Morris led UCLA with 12 points and handed out five assists. Freshman forward scored 10 points and added nine rebounds. Campbell was also in double digits with 10 points. Illinois State made 21-26 free throw attempts to help offset its own shooting problems as it managed to convert 37.8%of its field goal attempts.

In the first game on Saturday, the host team from the University of Iowa bested Santa Clara by a score of 67-51.The Hawkeyes were led by 5-9 junior guard Kachine Alexander who totaled 19 points and 17 rebounds. Hawkeye 6-5 freshman center Morgan Johnson added 15 points.

The Bruins will play Santa Clara in a second round matchup on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. CT (9:30 a.m. Pacific). UCLA plays its first home game on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7:00 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion versus the University of Hawaii.

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