UCLA Takes Care Of Washington St.

Jan. 30, 2003

PULLMAN, Wash. - Freshman Nikki Blue scored a game-high 26 points to lead UCLA to an 86-70 victory over Washington State in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action on Thursday at Friel Court. Pac-10 leading scorer Michelle Greco added 16 points, while Gennifer Arranaga chipped in 12 for the Bruins.

The game began as a battle of runs as UCLA opened the contest with four consecutive points. WSU went on a 7-0 run to take a three-point advantage 2:18 into the game.UCLA responded with seven straight points to take an 11-7 lead. It would be an advantage the Bruins would never relinquish.

The Cougars would pull to within one at 20-19 at the 10:26 mark of the first half, but eight consecutive UCLA points (five by Greco) built the Bruins' lead to 28-19 with 9:11 remaining. UCLA would end the first half with a 45-30 advantage.

WSU out-rebounded UCLA, 48-38. However, 26 turnovers sealed the Cougars' fate.

'We were careless with the ball,' said WSU Coach Sherri Murrell. 'I thought in the first half we did some things and got some stops, and then we just threw it right into their hands. It all came down to giving them more chances.'

Ten Bruin players contributed to the scoring. Blue and Lisa Willis led the team in rebounding with six apiece. Natalie Nakase had a season-high eight assists.

Bianca McCall led a contingent of five Cougars that scored in double figures, totaling 21 points with 10 rebounds. Jessica Perry (14 points), Holly Harris (11 points), Jami Clevenger (11 points), and Lindsey Egeland (10 points) completed the quintet.

The 21 points scored by McCall was the fourth consecutive game that she has reached the 20-point plateau.

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