Bruins Open Pac-10 Play Friday, Jan. 1 At Arizona

Dec. 29, 2009

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
GAME #12 DATE: Fri., Jan. 1, 2009
OPPONENT: Arizona (5-4)
SITE: McKale Center
TIP-OFF: 2:00 pm MST / 1:00 Pacific
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus

GAME #13 DATE: Sun., Jan. 3, 2009
OPPONENT: #19/17 Arizona State (8-3)
SITE: Wells Fargo Arena
TIP-OFF: 2:00 pm MST / 1:00 Pacific
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus

UCLA (7-4) will open Pac-10 Conference play on New Year's Day at Arizona. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. Mountain time/ 1 p.m. Pacific. UCLA will then head north to play at #19/17-ranked Arizona State (8-3) on Sunday at 2 p.m. Mountain/ 1 p.m. Pacific.The Bruins wrapped up the nonconference part of its schedule on Monday with a 73-52 win against LMU in Pauley Pavilion behind a career-best 20 points from freshman forward Markel Walker.

The Bruins have won the last four meetings against Arizona, and seven of the last eight overall. UCLA has also won its last four games played in Tucson. It holds a 43-19 lead over the 'Cats in the overall series.

Arizona completes its non-conference slate against Alabama A&M on Dec. 29. U of A is led by junior forward Ify Ibekwe, sister of former Bruin Chinyere Ibekwe, who is averaging a double-double this season (11.3 ppg/ 12.1 rpg). Freshman guard Davellyn Whyte leads the team in scoring at 13.9 ppg.

The Bruins will play at #19/ 17 Arizona State (8-3) on Sun., Jan. 3 ASU has won the last seven meetings in the series, but UCLA owns a 41-25 overall edge. ASU hosts USC on Jan. 1. The three Sun Devil losses have come to ranked teams from Baylor, Texas A&M and Xavier.

The Bruin team was listed in the top-50 of the latest NCAA national rankings (from December 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 ranked 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 11 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 11-game stretch.

In addition, the Bruins have also held the last 16 opponents to less than 50% shooting from the field. In coach Caldwell's two seasons at the helm, her Bruin teams have held 23 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 35-7 (Tennessee 10-1, Illinois State 6-3, Kansas 9-2, Texas Tech 10-1, records as of 12/27).

LMU RecaP (Game 11)Markel Walker's career-high 20 points helped UCLA run past LMU 73-52. UCLA, which led by 37-35 at the break, stepped up its defense in the second half as LMU misfired on 13 of its first 15 shots and the Bruins quickly moved out to a double-digit lead.Doreena Campbell scored all 14 of her points in the second half as the Bruins outscored the Lions 36-17.

HOME SWEET HOMEUnder second-year head coach Nikki Caldwell, the Bruins have posted a 17-4 record (.810) on their home court of Pauley Pavilion.

NewcomersUCLA welcomes Markel Walker (25.6 ppg, 14.7 rpg, 6.1 apg) of Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, PA and Mariah Williams (11.8 ppg, 6.4 apg, 3.2 spg) of Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, CO for the 2009-10 season. The signing of Walker and Williams last fall gave UCLA the No. 15 overall recruiting class by HoopGurlz.com. The Bruins also bring in Jasmine Dixon, a former Parade Magazine All-American who transferred from Rutgers, became eligible following the end of the Fall Quarter (Dec. 14). Jackie Shepard is a 5-10 freshman walk-on player from the Menlo School in Atherton, CA.

UPCOMING WBKB PROMOTIONSWomen's Basketball Team Day promotions, with $3 floor tickets, continue on Jan. 8 and Jan. 10...On Jan. 8, in celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day, participants will be able to attend a meet & greet with members of the UCLA women's sports teams before the game against Cal. On Jan. 10, enjoy the ultimate movie experience after the Stanford contest by watching the Pixar movie 'UP' on the Bruin video board from your seat in Pauley Pavilion. (see Team Day page on uclabruins.com for more info.)

Jan. 10 is also Dads and Daughters Day --- for $20 receive 2 game tickets; 2 UCLA Dad and Daughter T-shirts; 2 Dad and Daughter photos; 2 admissions to a pre-game event which includes lunch, carnival games, prizes and more...visit uclabruins.com for more info.

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