Women's Basketball Hosts LMU on Monday

Dec. 22, 2009

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GAME #11 DATE: Mon., Dec. 28, 2009OPPONENT: LMU (6-6)
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 7:05 pm Pacific
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus

GAME #12 DATE: Fri., Jan. 1, 2009
OPPONENT: Arizona (5-3)
SITE: McKale Center
TIP-OFF: 2:00 pm MST / 1:00 Pacific
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus

UCLA (6-4) will wrap up the nonconference part of its schedule on Monday, Dec. 28 with a game against LMU (6-6) in Pauley Pavilion at 7 p.m.

In their last outing, the Bruins outscored St. Mary's 40-20 in the second half on their way to an 83-58 decision over the Gaels. UCLA held SMC to 17.2% shooting (5-29 fg) in second half. Darxia Morris led the way with 20 points.

LMU is 6-6 on the season and is coming off of a 75-54 loss to San Diego State on Dec. 21. Sophomore guard/forward Alex Cowling leads the Lions in scoring with a 15.2 average. Guard Renahy Young, a teammate of Atonye Nyingifa at Redondo Union HS, is also in double figures with a 14.9 mark. LMU was 18-12 last season and tied for fourth in the West Coast Conference.UCLA has won all five previous meetings with LMU. The Bruins bested the Lions 60-39 in the last meeting, played Dec. 5, 1996 at LMU.

UCLA will open the Pac-10 schedule with a game at Arizona (5-3, lost last game to Georgia Tech) on Friday, Jan. 1. The Bruins have won the last four meetings, and seven of the last eight. UCLA holds a 43-19 lead in the overall series. Arizona has games to play against UC Riverside on Dec. 23 and Alabama A&m on Dec. 29.

The Bruins will play at Arizona State (7-3, lost last two games to Texas A&M and Baylor) on Sun., Jan. 3 ASU has won the last seven straight meetings, but UCLA owns a 41-25 overall edge. ASU has games to play vs. Furman on Dec. 28 and USC on Jan. 1.

The Bruin team was listed in the top-50 of the NCAA national rankings (12/20) in four categories --- 15th in scoring defense (53.2), 28th in rebound margin (+7.8), 44th in three-pt. fg % (36.7%), 45th in Assist/Turnover ratio (0.92).Senior guard Erica Tukiainen was fourth in the country in three-point shooting % (55.0%). Freshman forward Markel Walker was 62nd in rebounding with a 8.9/g mark.

The Bruins have opened the season by holding all 10 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 teams to 61 points or less over any 10-game stretch.

In addition, the Bruins have also held the last 15 opponents to less than 50% shooting from the field. In coach Caldwell's two seasons at helm, her Bruin teams have held 22 opponents to 60 points or less and eight opponents to 50 points or less.

The combined record of the four teams the Bruins have lost to this season is 32-7 (Tennessee 9-1, Illinois State 5-3, Kansas 8-2, Texas Tech 10-1, records as of 12/21).

Darxia Morris scored a season-high 20 points to help lead the Bruins past St. Mary's 83-58. Markel Walker added 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. UCLA broke open the game by scoring the first eight points of the second half and went on to outscore SMC 40-20 in the second half.

Transfer Jasmine Dixon led three players in double digits with 14 points, but the Bruins came up on the short end of a 59-58 decision to Texas Tech. Neither team led by more than six points in the hotly-contested game, but the Bruins missed opportunites throughout the contest and finished with a season-high 22 turnovers.Under second-year head coach Nikki Caldwell, the Bruins have posted a 16-4 record (.800) on their home court of Pauley Pavilion.

The Pac-10 women's basketball coaches picked UCLA to finish fourth in the conference in the annual pre-season poll. Stanford was picked to finish first. The Cardinal (81 points) were followed by Cal (67), Arizona State (64), UCLA (63), USC (48), Washington State (33), Oregon State (29), Oregon (23), Arizona (22), and Washington (20).

The Pac-10 media seconded the coaches vote by placing the Bruins fourth in their pre-season poll. Stanford, with 210 points, was the media's choice to finish in the top spot in the league. Following in second place was Arizona State (175), Cal (170), UCLA (158), USC (124), Oregon State (84), Washington State (81), Oregon (64), Arizona (57), and Washington (32).

Doreena Campbell, UCLA's leading returning scorer, was selected by the media to the pre-season All-Pac-10 squad. She was joined by Stanford's Jayne Appel, Cal's Alexis Gray-Lawson, Arizona's Ify Ibekwe, and Stanford's Jeanette Pohlen.

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