UCLA Wins LMU/Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic After 87-71 Win Over Charlotte

Nov. 26, 2005

Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA won the Loyola Marymount/Ayres Hotel Thanksgiving Classic after defeating Charlotte, 87-71, in the Championship game at LMU's Gersten Pavilion.

Tournament MVP Lisa Willis led all players with 21 points and five steals and averaged 25 points in the tournament. Nikki Blue was also selected to the All-Tournament team and had nine points with seven rebounds and six assists. Noelle Quinn recorded a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and two other Bruins were in double figure scoring - Lindsey Pluimer with 11 and Amanda Livingston with 10.

UCLA jumped out to a 26-16 lead in the first half before Charlotte mounted a comeback late in the first half. The 49ers went on a 14-1 run to take a 30-29 lead at 3:00. But UCLA scored the next nine points behind the play of Quinn, who scored four and made two steals and one block during the last three minutes. Her second steal came at 1:42, and she fed a no-look pass to Livingston, who then fed another no-look pass to Willis for a layup and the foul to give the Bruins a 36-30 lead.

The Bruins continued their first half momentum into the second half, going on a 10-2 run to take a 49-32 lead. With UCLA up 52-34 after a three-point play from Consuelo Lezcano, the 49ers went on an 11-0 run to close the gap to 52-45 with 13:46 to play. Charlotte got to within four, 65-61, on a free throw by Sabrina Gregory at the 5:42 mark, but UCLA answered with a three-pointer by Lauren Pedersen at 5:33 to increase the lead to seven, 68-61. Pedersen's three ignited a 10-3 run that increased UCLA's lead to 75-64 with 3:34 to play, and the Bruins were never seriously challenged after that.

UCLA shot over 50% for the second consecutive game, hitting 33-62 shots from the field (53.2%). The Bruins also won the battle of the boards, 40-30.

The Bruins (2-2) will next face UC Irvine at home on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 7 pm.

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