UCLA Upsets No. 18 Ohio State In Women's Basketball, 71-56

Dec. 30, 2003

Los Angeles, Calif. - Playing its best basketball of the season, UCLA upset 18th-ranked Ohio State, 71-56, in front of 1,107 Tuesday night in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins shot 55.2% from the field in the second half and a season-high 51.7% overall and took advantage of second-chance opportunities, scoring 17 second-chance points to Ohio State's six. Turnovers also played a key in the game, as UCLA forced 21 turnovers and made 16 steals.

Lisa Willis led the Bruins with 17 points on 7-12 shooting. She shot 5-6 from the field in the second half and 2-2 on three pointers. Nikki Blue added 15 points with nine assists and five steals, and freshman Noelle Quinn scored 14 points with five assists.

'That was our best basketball this year,' said UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier. 'We had great patience, great play from Nikki Blue; she bounced back after the USC game and showed great leadership. We tried a different look with a smaller lineup and had a lot of options. I think this team has all kinds of potential. They gave a great effort tonight.'

Up by five at the half, the Bruins increased their lead in the second half to as much as 18 points, 61-43 at 7:58 on a Willis three-pointer after a Quinn offensive rebound. Ohio State mounted a mini-comeback with a 13-5 run that cut the lead to 10, 66-56 at 1:39 after a pair of Beth Howe free throws. Quinn, however, hit a three with 1:12 on the clock to increase the lead to three, 69-56, and hit a basket with 25 seconds to play to give UCLA its final advantage, 71-56.

Second-chance points propelled UCLA to a 33-28 halftime advantage, as the Bruins scored 11 to Ohio State's two. UCLA had seven offensive boards and held the Buckeyes to just one. Three-point shooting from Ohio State guard Caity Matter accounted for 12 of Ohio State's first 16 points. A LaToya Turner three-point play at 6:16 gave the Buckeyes the lead, 22-20, and they extended it to 24-20 on a Brandie Hoskins fast-break layup, their biggest lead of the half. UCLA came roaring back, however, and went on a 13-4 run to take its biggest lead of the half, 33-28, at 0:47 on a three-pointer by Willis after a between the legs pass from Blue.

Matter led Ohio State with 21 points, and Hoskins added 10. The Buckeyes shot 50% from the field in the game and were outrebounded by a 28-24 margin.

UCLA improves its record to 5-5, while Ohio State drops to 8-2.

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