UCLA Women's Basketball Meets No. 11 Georgia In LMU Tournament

Nov. 23, 2005

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Bruins at LMU/Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Tournament -- The Bruins (0-2) will square off on Friday at 5 p.m. with 11th-ranked (AP) Georgia (2-1) in the first round of the LMU/Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Tournament to be played at Gersten Pavilion on the Loyola Marymount campus. Charlotte (1-1) and LMU (1-1) play in the other first round contest. The Friday winners will meet at 5 p.m. on Saturday, following the 3 p.m. consolation game. The Bruins could open up the regular season facing four straight teams which advanced to post-season play a year ago (Baylor and Georgia were in the NCAA tournament; BYU and Charlotte played in the WNIT).

On Air -- All of UCLA's games in 2005-06 will be audio broadcast live on UCLA All-Access via UCLABruins.com. Play-by-play announcer Dave Marcus will begin coverage with The Bruins Countdown Show starting five minutes before the hour.

About Georgia -- Georgia finished the 2004-05 season with a 24-10 record and lost in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 round to Duke. The Lady Bulldogs enter the tournament with a 2-1 record, losing to Baylor (72-84) and posting wins over Santa Clara at home (92-91) and at TCU (80-51). All five UGA starters are averaging in double digits this season, headed by 6-3 sophomore forward Tasha Humphrey at 22.0 ppg. Humphrey also leads Georgia in rebounding with a 9.3 average. Senior guards Sherill Baker (16.0) and Alexis Kendrick (12.0) and junior guard Cori Chambers (13.3) give the Bulldogs one of the nation's highest-scoring backcourts. Six-three forward Megan Darrah averages 11.0 points per game and led Georgia in its win on Monday (Nov. 21) against TCU with 17 points.

About Charlotte -- Charlotte is under the direction of first-year head coach Amanda Butler, a former 49'er assistant, who will lead her squad into the Atlantic 10 Conference for the first time this season (Charlotte was previously in Conference-USA). The 49'ers have made a school record three-straight post-season appearances (NCAA-2003/NWIT-2004 & 2005) and posted a 22-9 record in 2004-05. Charlotte enters the tournament with a 1-1 record after an 87-80 loss at Western Kentucky on Tuesday. The 49'ers opened the season with an 84-58 win over Appalachian State. Senior guard Sakellie Daniels led the team in scoring (15.1), rebounding (7.5), assists and steals last season. She had 21 points in the loss to Western Kentucky. Senior forward Pam Brown averaged 12.8 points per game last season and had 22 double figure scoring outings.

About LMU -- Loyola Marymount posted a 16-13 record last season and finished second in the West Coast Conference. The Lions enter the tournament with a 1-1 mark this season. LMU lost, 74-66, at Arizona last week and defeated UC Irvine, 93-73, on Monday. Junior guard Amanda Patton leads three Lions in double figure scoring with a 16.5 ppg mark. Six-one junior forward Ashlee Dunlap is the leading rebounder at 10.5 per contest and is scoring at a 12.5 points per game clip.

UCLA leads the series with the Lions, 5-0. The teams last met on Dec. 6, 1996, with UCLA winning, 60-39, at Gersten Pavilion.

Looking Ahead -- UCLA's next home contest is on Wednesday, Nov. 30 against UC Irvine at 7:00 p.m.

BYU Bests Bruins in Home Opener -- Nikki Blue led four Bruins in double figures with 19 points, but it was not enough to best BYU, which handed UCLA a 71-67 setback in the home opener. Neither team led by more than nine points in the contest in which there were 11 lead changes and five ties. The Cougars controlled the boards, 52-27, to help offset 26 turnovers. UCLA misfired on four three-point attempts in the final 40 seconds which would have tied the game at 70 and fell to 0-2 on the year.

Bruins Fall to Defending National Champs in Season Opener -- Baylor defeated the Bruins, 93-85, in Waco, TX despite 22 points from Lisa Willis and 20 from Noelle Quinn. Baylor led for almost the entire game, but not by more than six points in the first half and had a 47-43 advantage at the break. The Lady Bears opened up their first double-digit lead of the contest, 79-69, at the 5:03 mark of the second half and built it up to as many as 14, 88-74 with 2:20 to play. UCLA battled back to close the gap to seven, 92-85, on a three-point shot by Willis with 15 seconds remaining. UCLA then the stole the ball in the Baylor backcourt, but a Tierra Henderson three-point attempt did not fall, and UCLA was forced to foul with seven seconds to play. Baylor hit one free throw to make the final score 93-85.

What's Returning ? -- 99% of the total field goals made; 100% of the games started; 99% of the minutes played; 98% of the rebounds pulled down; 100% of the three-point field goals made; 99% of the assists handed out; 100% of the steals made; 98% of the blocked shots made.

Blue, Quinn Garner Pre-Season Honors -- Nikki Blue was selected to the first team and Noelle Quinn to the third team by the Women's Basketball News Service. Blue was selected as one of 25 candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy for Division IA Player of the Year. Blue and Quinn were among 30 players chosen to the pre-season Wooden Award watch list. Blue and Quinn were also selected to the pre-season All-Pac-10 team. This is Blue's third consecutive pre-season honor and Quinn's second.

Bruins in the Pre-Season Polls -- The Bruins were picked No. 16 by the Lindy's College Basketball Magazine (ranked opponents are Georgia-4, Baylor-5, Stanford-11, Oklahoma-20, USC-21,Arizona State-24). The Women's Basketball News Service selected UCLA No. 22. ESPN.com has UCLA at No. 21.

Media Tabs Bruins for Second in the Pac-10 -- The Bruins were selected to finish second in the media poll announced at the annual conference media day. Stanford, with 10 first place votes, was picked to finish first with 127 total points. UCLA had two first place votes and 109 points. USC had one first place vote and 103 points. Arizona State had 101 points followed by Oregon (66), Arizona (59), Cal (43), Washington State (25) and Oregon State (17).

Coaches Pick Bruins To Finish Fourth In Pac-10 -- The Pac-10 women's basketball coaches picked UCLA to finish fourth in the conference in the annual pre-season poll. Stanford, with nine first-place votes, was the solid choice to finish first. The Cardinal (81 points) were followed by USC (one first-place vote, 70), Arizona State (62), UCLA (60), Oregon (43), Arizona (42), Washington (36), California (30), Washington State (16) and Oregon State (10).

2005-06 Outlook -- Coach Kathy Olivier is set to return one of the nation's finest backcourts with its 'Triple Threat' of Blue, Quinn and Willis. The threesome combined to average 50.2 points, 19.0 rebounds, 10.5 steals and 11.9 assists a game in 2004-05. Overall, 11 letterwinners (all five starters) are back from last season's 16-12 team which finished sixth (10-8) in the Pac-10 conference. Three talented newcomers have joined the mix to step up the competition level at several positions.

Blue and Willis ranked fourth and fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring last season. Quinn was on track to join them until she was sidelined by a knee injury in mid-January. The pair ranked first and second in the conference in steals. Willis ranked sixth in the nation in steals and Blue checked in at 11th. Willis ranked No.1 in the Pac-10 in three-point field goals made and tied for 25th in the nation. Blue was second in the conference in assists and 12th in the nation in that category.

Quinn, who had been selected Pac-10 Player of the Week three times earlier in 2004-05, saw her season end early when she landed awkwardly on her knee while driving the lane for a shot against Arizona. She underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee a few days later and sat out the remainder of the year. The Bruins went 5-7 the rest of the way.

Forwards Amanda Livingston and Lindsey Pluimer are the other returning starters. Livingston ranked eighth in the conference in offensive rebounds and ninth in field goal percentage. Pluimer earned first-team All-Pac-10 All-Freshman honors. She ranked sixth in the conference in rebounding and 18th in scoring.

Team Notes -- Defensively, the team ranked 11th nationally in steals per game (11.96). The opponent shooting percentage of .400 ranked as the fourth-lowest in school history. UCLA led the Pac-10 in steals and turnover margin for the second year in a row.

Offensively, UCLA netted a school record .717 of its free throws. The team made 148 three-point shots, the second-best total in school history, and shot .340 from beyond the arc, the fifth-best school mark. The scoring average of 72.0 points per game rated as the 18th-best total in the nation.

Willis Wins Gold -- Lisa Willis, the school's all-time three-point shot leader with 186, earned a gold medal as a member of the USA team at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey this past summer. Willis totaled 13 points, including three three-pointers in the gold medal game against Serbia-Montenegro. She also had 13 points and grabbed five rebounds in the semifinal win over Russia. Willis scored eight points in the quarterfinal round win over Taiwan. She totaled eight points and five steals in a win over China. The senior had eight points in the opening round win over the Czech Republic.

Bruins Enjoy Summer in Australia -- The Bruins spent June 24-July 2 in Australia and went 3-1 on its tour. Noelle Quinn and Lisa Willis each scored 22 points to lead the way for the Bruins in a 87-57 win over Sutherland. Willis scored 34 points in the overtime win against the Junior National team. Willis had 21, Lindsey Pluimer added 19 and Quinn totaled 16 in a 83-70 win over Bankstown. Quinn led the Bruins with 27 points in a 81-72 loss to Townsville. Willis and Quinn each averaged 20-plus points per game in Australia, with Willis leading the way with a 22.5 ppg average. Quinn averaged 20.5 ppg.

San Jose to Host Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament -- The 2005-06 season will conclude with the Pac-10 Women's Basketball Tournament to be played once again this season at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA on March 3-6. All conference schools will participate in the tournament, with the winner receiving the conference's automatic bid to the 2006 NCAA tournament. The team that finishes the regular season atop the Pac-10 standings is the conference champion.

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