UCLA Women Trek North To Meet Washington Schools
Jan. 8, 2008
GAME 16: Thur., Jan. 10
OPPONENT: Washington (6-9, 1-2)
GAME TIME: 7: 00 pm
GAME SITE: Bank of America Arena (10,000)
UCLA RADIO TALENT: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Jamila Veasley (color)
GAME 17: Sat. Jan. 12
OPPONENT: Washington State (3-11, 0-3)
GAME TIME: 2:00 pm
GAME SITE: Friel Court (11,566)
UCLA RADIO TALENT: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Jamila Veasley (color)
UCLA Visits Washington, Washington State This Weekend
UCLA (7-8, 2-2 in the Pac-10) will return to the road for the next two weeks. This week's trip begins with a game at the University of Washington (6-9, 1-2) on Thursday at 7 p.m. The battle against the Huskies will be the eighth game out of the last nine (excluding Arizona) in which the Bruins will have squared off against a team which advanced to the post-season in 2006-07.
UCLA has limited its last five opponents to an average of just 60.4 points per game in regulation in those five contests (UC Riverside - 60, Arizona State - 62, Arizona - 59, Stanford - 56, California - 65). The two Bruin losses have come by a total of six points to a pair of ranked teams (No. 9 Cal, No. 25 Arizona St.) which sit atop the Pac-10 standings with the only unbeaten records in the league after two weeks of play.
Washington is coming off of a 61-46 decision over Washington State on Friday, Jan. 4. That game was played at Washington State, which will take 3-11, 0-3 records into a matchup this Thursday against USC.
Bruin freshmen and Seattle natives Regina Rogers and Christina Nzekwe will return home on Thursday for their first collegiate games. Rogers and Nzekwe were teammates at Chief Sealth HS in Seattle and won two State championships. Both have played in every game for the Bruins this season, with Rogers making eight starts in 15 games. Rogers averages 7.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game, while Nzkewe averages 2.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 0.8 steals. Both average over 12 minutes per game (Rogers - 16.6, Nzekwe - 13.3). Rogers and Nzekwe are the ninth and 10th UCLA players hailing from the state of Washington.
Morris Out With Knee Sprain
UCLA freshman Darxia Morris will sit out both games this weekend with a knee sprain. Doctors will re-examine her knee early next week after the swelling has gone down to more accurately determine the extent of the injury. Morris, a freshman guard from Pasadena, CA (Muir HS) was injured in the second half of Sunday's overtime game against California after scoring 14 points, 12 coming in the second half. Morris is averaging 9.9 points (third on the team), 2.47 steals (second in the Pac-10 Conference) and 3.0 assists (tied for eighth in the Pac-10) per game. She had started in the last six games and in 12 games overall this season.
Two Bruin players are averaging in double-figures, led by senior Lindsey Pluimer (14.0 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game). Freshman Nina Earl also averages in double digits with an 10.7 mark. Three other members of UCLA's freshman class are just shy of double digit averages - Darxia Morris, 9.9; Doreena Campbell, 9.1 ppg; and Regina Rogers, 7.9 ppg. UCLA entered the week averaging 72.4 points per game to rank second in the Pac-10.
UCLA Comes Up Short In OT Vs. Cal
Tenth-ranked California needed overtime to best the Bruins, 73-70, in Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 6. UCLA used a 10-0 run midway through the second half to secure its first lead of the game after trailing by seven, 37-30, at the half. Freshman guard Darxia Morris keyed the rally with six points in that 10-0 run. However, she went down with a knee injury at the 5:39 mark, and the Bruins could manage just one field goal over the last 5:31 of the contest. Cal was able to knot the score at 65-all on a pair of free throws with 1:45 to play in regulation. Neither team scored down the stretch, and the game went into overtime.
Lindsey Pluimer's three-point shot with 3:54 to go in the extra period gave UCLA a 68-66 lead. A Cal basket tied the score, before Nina Earl put the Bruins ahead, 70-68, with a field goal at the 2:44 mark. Cal tied it up at 70 on a basket with 2:18 to play. The Golden Bears took a one-point lead on a free throw with 42 seconds remaining and upped it to 73-70 on two more free throws with 22 seconds on the clock. Tierra Henderson misfired on a potential game-tying shot in the final seconds of the game.
Bruins Shoot Down No. 2 Cardinal
UCLA snapped second-ranked Stanford's nine-game winning streak on Friday night with a 69-56 win. It marked the first time the UCLA women's basketball program has ever defeated a team ranked higher than fourth in the Associated Press poll.
The Cardinal connected on just four of its first 13 shots from the field and fell behind 17-6 with 11:57 to play in the first half. The 11-point margin, reached three times, was UCLA's largest in the half and they settled for a 38-34 advantage at the break.
Stanford misfired on its first seven shots of the second half as the Bruins ran off 12 unanswered points to take a 50-34 lead with 15:40 to play. UCLA led 57-42 at the 10:44 mark when the Cardinal went on an 8-0 run to narrow the margin to 57-50 with 8:20 on the clock. A seven-point margin (three times) was as close as the Cardinal would get down the stretch.
Darxia Morris led UCLA with 20 points, one shy of her career high, and handed out five assists. Lindsey Pluimer added 13 points and a team-best eight rebounds. The Cardinal, which entered the contest averaging a Pac-10 best 76.9 points per game, was held 20 points below that mark, while shooting just 29.6% from the field. UCLA has now captured wins in three of its last five meetings with Stanford.
Washington has split its last four games, winning at home against Purdue (66-65 on Dec. 21) and at Washington State (61-46 on Jan. 4) and dropping a pair of Pac-10 games in the Bay Area (Dec. 28 at Cal, 40-66, and Dec. 30 at Stanford, 42-77).
Freshman Katelan Redmon leads the Huskies in scoring with a 12.2 average. Senior point guard Emily Florence is the leading rebounder with a 6.7 mark.
UW leads the overall series, 26-18. The teams have split the last four meetings, with each winning on their home hardwood. Last season, UCLA captured a 73-67 win in Pauley on Jan. 26, 2007 and dropped a 72-67 decision in Seattle on Dec. 31.
About Washington State
WSU has lost five straight contests since posting a 78-72 overtime win over San Jose State on Dec. 16. The Cougars came up short at Stanford on Dec. 28 (47-105) and at Cal on Dec. 30 (44-99).
UCLA leads the series, 37-6, and has won the last 14 meetings since a 74-52 loss in Pullman, WA on Jan. 6, 2001. Junior guard Katie Appleton leads WSU in scoring with a 12.8 average.
The Bruin freshmen, ranked as the No. 4 recruiting class by HoopGurlz.com, have been as good as advertised, playing pivotal roles on the team. Four of the six freshmen have played in all 15 games, while one has played in 14 and the other 10. Doreena Campbell has made 14 starts, Darxia Morris 12, Regina Rogers eight, and Nina Earl five. Campbell leads the Bruins in assists (52) and minutes per game (30.5) and entered the week as the Pac-10 leader in assist/turnover ratio (1.93). Morris owns the team lead in steals with 37 and began the week ranked second in the conference with a 2.47 steals average. Rogers ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.1 average), and Candice Brown leads the team with a .667 (10-15) field goal percentage. Five freshmen have been on the court at the same time for the Bruins in several games this season.
Pluimer Powers Bruins
UCLA's lone senior, forward Lindsey Pluimer, continues to lead the Bruins both on and off the court. Pluimer, a 2007-08 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominee, two-time Academic All-District selection and 2006-07 All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, has started every game since her freshman season for a total of 107 career starts. Pluimer is one of just seven Bruins to record at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 60 blocked shots for a career, and she is one of just 13 Bruins to have scored at least 1,000 points and pulled down at least 600 rebounds for her career.
Pluimer currently ranks 14th in career scoring with 1,328 points and 13th in rebounds with 650. With a blocked shot at Arizona, Pluimer moved into a tie for seventh on UCLA's career list with 74. With her next blocked shot, Pluimer will join Ann Meyers, Necie Thompson, Natalie Williams and Maylana Martin as the only Bruins to have totaled at least 1,300 points, 650 rebounds and 75 blocked shots for a career.
Her Name Is Earl
Freshman forward Nina Earl has been making a name for herself in her freshman season, ranking second on the Bruin squad in scoring with an 10.7 points per game average. Earl has scored in double figures eight times on the year and set career-highs in both scoring and rebounding when she recorded her first career double-double at Arizona (23 points, 10 rebounds). Earl began the week ranked eighth in the Pac-10 in field goal percentage, connecting on 48.5% of her shots and is currently second on the team in three-point field goal percentage at 41.7% (5-12).
Campbell Nationally Ranked
Guard Doreena Campbell has played more like a veteran than a freshman, averaging 9.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.4 steals and just 1.9 turnovers per game in 14 starts. She entered the week ranked 38th in the nation in assist/turnover ratio. Campbell is first on the team in assists (52) and minutes per game (30.5). She recorded seven steals in the season opener at Cal State Northridge and had a career-high of eight assists at Arizona State. Campbell missed her only game of the season at Arizona while nursing a sprained ankle. She registered a career-high seven rebounds v. Cal in a career-best 38 minutes of action.
Sophomore center Moniquee Alexander has shown big improvements lately, earning starts in the last seven games, She had five rebounds against both No. 2 Stanford and No. 10 California. Against No. 1 Tennessee, Alexander scored a career-high 11 points on 5-5 shooting from the field. She equaled that point total against UC Riverside, scoring 11 points, and pulled down a season-high seven rebounds. Alexander had five rebounds and zero turnovers in the game at Arizona State and shot 4-6 from the field for eight points with four boards in the win at Arizona. She averages 4.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game and has played in all 15 games with eight overall starts.
Freshman center Regina Rogers totaled 16 rebounds on Nov. 28 at Pepperdine, including 10 on the offensive end. Her 16 rebounds were the most by a Bruin player since Kristee Porter had 16 boards against Arizona on Jan. 20, 2001. Rogers was ferocious on the defensive boards at Arizona State, recording 13, along with three blocked shots. She added five more boards at Arizona. Rogers is second on the team in rebounds per game (5.1 average) and blocks (11). Her rebounding average is 17th in the conference.
Pride Of Pasadena
Former teammates at Pasadena's John Muir HS, Tierra Henderson and Darxia Morris have paired up once again in UCLA's backcourt. Henderson, a junior, and Morris, a freshman, have started together in five games. They rank 1-2 on the team in steals, with Morris totaling 37 and Henderson 31 which ranked them second and sixth, respectively, in the Pac-10 rankings at the beginning of the week. Morris is second on the team in assists with 45 while averaging 9.9 points per game. Henderson has long been known as the Bruins' defensive sparkplug, but she has also upped her offensive game this year, averaging 7.1 points and leading the team in scoring with a career-high 15 at Pepperdine. At Arizona, they were the defensive duo, combining for 13 of UCLA's 17 steals on the day (Henderson with a career-high tying seven and Morris with a career-high six).
Four of the five players to earn the starting nod from coach Kathy Olivier in the opener at Cal State Northridge made their first collegiate starts.Sophomores Erica Tukiainen and Moniquee Alexander made their first career starts at Northridge. Tukiainen appeared in all 32 games last season off the bench. Alexander saw action in 31 games last season, but did not start a contest.
True freshmen Darxia Morris and Doreena Campbell each merited a starting assignment in their first games. It was the first time a Bruin team has started as many as two true freshmen in the first game of a season since the 2002-03 season when Julia Pitts and Nikki Blue were in the starting lineup at Hawaii. The last time the Bruins put out a starting lineup that included more than two freshmen in the starting lineup in the season opener was in the 1996-97 opener against St. Mary's when four freshmen, including three true freshmen, took the floor for the jump (true freshmen - Melanie Pearson, Maylana Martin, Carly Funicello; redshirt freshman Takiyah Jackson).
In game two against Rice, the Bruins started three freshmen - center Regina Rogers and guards Campbell and Morris. Rogers made her first career start in the Rice game. The same group started at Pepperdine. Another freshman received her first starting assignment in game three against Cal Poly, as Nina Earl joined two other classmates (Rogers and Campbell) in the starting lineup.
The Bruins have utilized eight different starting lineups in the 15 games this year and have used the same lineup in three consecutive games just once. UCLA has started three freshmen in most games this season.
Challenging '07-08 Schedule
The Bruins have already played host to the past two NCAA championship teams this season when it welcomed 2005-06 title holder Maryland on Nov. 25 and 2006-07 champ Tennessee on Dec. 19 to Pauley Pavilion. UCLA has now hosted teams ranked No. 1 (Tennessee), No. 2 (Stanford) and No. 3 (Maryland) at the time of the game this season.
In all, the Bruins will battle five teams which won their conference or conference tournaments a year ago - Tennessee (SEC), BYU (Mountain West), UC Riverside (Big West), Stanford (Pac-10), Idaho State (Big Sky).
Nine opponents advanced to play in the NCAA Tournament in 2007 - Maryland, Idaho State, BYU, Tennessee, UC Riverside, Arizona State, Stanford, Cal, and Washington - and three more played in the WNIT - Rice, San Diego, and Oregon. Beginning on the first of December with a game against Idaho State, the Bruins are in the midst of a stretch which sees them matching up with nine teams over an 11-game stretch which advanced to post-season play in the 2006-07 season.
Four of UCLA's opponents are currently ranked in the Top 10 in the AP rankings - No. 2 Tennessee, No. 4 Maryland, No. 7 Stanford, No. 9 California.
Bruins Vs. The Ranks
The Bruins' last victory against a nationally ranked opponent came on Jan. 4, 2008 against No. 2-ranked Stanford (69-56). It marked the first time the Bruin program has ever defeated a team ranked higher than fourth in the Associated Press poll. UCLA had defeated a team ranked as high as fourth on multiple occasions, the last time came on Nov. 28, 2004 in a 63-60 win over #4 Texas.