UCLA Resumes Action At UCSB

Dec. 10, 2009

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GAME #8 DATE: Tue., Dec. 15, 2009
OPPONENT: UC Santa Barbara (2-5)
SITE: Thunderdome
TIP-OFF: 7:00 pm Pacific
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus

GAME #9 DATE: Fri., Dec. 18 , 2009
OPPONENT: Texas Tech (7-1)
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 7:05 pm Pacific
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Michael Sondheimer

Bruins At UC Santa Barbara
The Bruins (4-3) will travel up the coast to play at UC Santa Barbara (2-5, game on Dec. 13 v. CSU Bakersfield) on Dec. 15. The game will start at 7 p.m. UCLA then returns home for the first time since Nov. 25 to host Texas Tech (8-1, winners of its last seven games after a 91-53 loss to Tennessee on Nov. 17) on Friday, Dec. 18 in Pauley Pavilion.

The Bruins could add sophomore guard/forward Jasmine Dixon to the active roster soon. The former McDonald's All-American from Long Beach Poly High School transferred to UCLA from Rutgers after the first academic term last year. Dixon will seek to regain her eligibility after this week's final exams are graded.

About The Opponent
UC Santa Barbara owns a 2-5 record (game on Dec. 13 v. CSU Bakersfield) after besting Oregon State, 59-53, in its last outing on Dec. 5.

UCLA leads the series by a 10-2 count. The Bruins won the last meeting (Nov. 12, 2006) by a score of 87-62 in a game played in Pauley Pavilion. UCSB captured the last contest played in Santa Barbara (Dec. 17, 2005) by a score of 90-81 in overtime.

UCSB had a 22-10 record last season and placed first in the Big West Conference.

Ranked Bruins
The Bruin team is listed in the top-50 of the NCAA national rankings in five categories --- 15th in scoring defense (53.0), 28th in rebound margin (+8.1), 34th in three-pt. fg % (38.0%), 44th in fg % defense (35.4%), 45th in Assist/Turnover ratio (0.94).

Senior guard Erica Tukiainen is fourth in the country in three-point shooting % (.60.6%) and 38th in three-point shots made/g (2.9). Freshman forward Markel Walker is 47th in rebounding with a 9.4/g mark (she is 69th nationally in steals, 2.6/g). Freshman guard Mariah Williams is listed 85th in assist / turnover ratio (1.75).

The Bruins have opened the season by holding all seven opponents to 61 points or less. The last time a UCLA team has opened the season with a stingier defense was in the 1974-75 campaign during which it held the first 18 opponents to 61 points or less. That is also the last time a Bruin team has held a team to 61 points or less over any seven-game stretch.

Kansas Recap (game 7)
No. 24 Kansas used 50% second-half shooting and a 15-4 made free throw advantage for the game to come from behind and hand the Bruins a 54-49 defeat.The Bruins led for the entire first half and took a 21-19 lead into the halftime break. There were five lead changes and two ties in the second half. UCLA cut the KU lead to 48-46 with 1:11 to play on a basket by Darxia Morris, who led the Bruins with 13 points. The Bruins went on to record two straight steals on the next two KU possessions but could not convert either to points. Kansas went 6-6 from the free throw line in the last 17 seconds of the contest to hold on for the win.

Home Sweet Home
Under second-year head coach Nikki Caldwell, the Bruins have posted a 15-3 record (.833) on their home court of Pauley Pavilion. UCLA has won its last three home games.

Looking Ahead
UCLA will return home for the first time since Nov. 25 to host Texas Tech (8-1, won last seven games after early loss to Tennessee) on Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in Pauley. That will be the first of three straight home games leading up to the Pac-10 conference opener at Arizona on Jan. 1.

Challenging Schedule
The Bruins face a schedule that features nine teams which advanced to post-season play last year. Six appeared in the NCAA Tournament (Utah, UC Santa Barbara, Tennessee, Stanford, Arizona State, Cal), and three played in the Women's NIT (Illinois State, Kansas, Oregon State).

Giving Back
Head coach Nikki Caldwell and Tennessee Assoc. Head Coach Holly Warlick have teamed up to battle cancer with their Champions for a Cause initiative. Since its inception in 2007, Champions for a Cause has raised and donated tens-of-thousands of dollars to help support the fight against breast cancer through a number of signature events: Cruisin' For A Cause - a long haul motorcycle ride, Links For The Cure - a women's golf tournament, and b3 - bikes, basketball & breast cancer.

2010 Recruiting Class
Head coach Nikki Caldwell announced three November 2009 signings --- Rhema Gardner of Ayala High School, Chino Hills, CA; Thea Lemberger of Santa Monica, CA High School; Corrine Costa of Liberty High School in Discovery Bay, CA.

Gardner is a 6-1 guard / forward who averaged 12.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.5 blocks last season as junior. She was named All-CIF Southern Section and second-team All-State, junior class. Lemberger, a 5-6 point guard, averaged 16.5 points, 3.7 assists and 2.3 steals per game as prep junior. Her team advanced to the CIF Division 4 semifinals last season. She connected on 57 of her 142 three-point shots attempts. Costa, a 6-4 post player, averaged 14.2 points, 4.8 blocks and 8.8 rebounds per game last season.

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