Women's Basketball Opens Season With Win Over Liberty

Nov. 16, 2001

East Lansing, MI - Michelle Greco's 17 second-half points helped to rally UCLA past Liberty University for a 62-55 win in the season opener for both teams in the first round of the Chevrolet Spartan Classic at Michigan State University.

The Bruins trailed 31-21 at halftime and by as many as 14 points in the first half before rallying for the win. A 13-2 run midway through the second half started the Bruins on the way to their comeback. A Malika Leatham basket gave UCLA its first lead, 43-42, since the early moments of the game.

Greco, the Pac-10's leading scorer a year ago, led UCLA with 24 points. The Bruins will now play the winner of the second game of the night, Michigan State - Buffalo, on Saturday.

'We came out a little nervous tonight,' said Bruin head coach Kathy Olivier. 'We had two exhibition games, but it is a little different when it is for real and on the road. Greco came through in the second half. She really wanted the ball. That is what makes her special.'

'At the end of the first half we picked up our defensive intensity and got a transition game going. Liberty had not allowed us to play up-tempo for most of the first half. Our defense in the second half made it more of our kind of game. They had to rush and began to struggle. We got more and more confidence and a nice lift from the bench.'

UCLA's first home game of the regular season is on Nov. 24 against Ohio State at 4 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.

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