UCLA Closes Out Regular Season By Hosting Arizona Schools
Feb. 25, 2008
GAME 28: Thursday, Feb. 28
OPPONENT: Arizona State University
GAME TIME: 7:00 pm
GAME SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
UCLA TALENT: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Michael Sondheimer (color)
GAME 29: Saturday, Mar. 1
OPPONENT: University of Arizona
GAME TIME: 11:00 am
GAME SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
UCLA TALENT: Dave Marcus (play-by-play), Michael Sondheimer (color)
UCLA Hosts Arizona Schools
UCLA (14-13, 9-7 and fifth in the Pac-10) will play its final home games of the regular season on Thursday, Feb. 28 against Arizona State (18-9,12-4 and third in the Pac-10) at 7 p.m. in Pauley Pavilon. Arizona (9-18, 3-13) is the opponent on Saturday at 11 a.m. It will be the final home contest for the lone Bruin senior, Lindsey Pluimer. It could also mark the first collegiate matchup between the Ibekwe sisters, Chinyere of UCLA and Ify of Arizona. Ify missed the December matchup in Tucson, a UCLA win, due to an eye injury.
UCLA will finish as either the fourth or fifth seed in the Pac-10 and thus will play its first game at 7:15 game on Saturday, Mar. 8 at the State Farm Pac-10 Tournament.
About Arizona State
UCLA leads the series with the Sun Devils by a 41-26 count. The Sun Devils won the first game of the season in Tempe by a score of 62-59 on Dec. 28.
First Game Recap: The UCLA women's basketball team was edged out by 24th-ranked Arizona State, 62-59, at Wells Fargo Arena. The game went wire-to-wire, with Darxia Morris making a steal and layup with 1:35 remaining to give UCLA a 59-58 lead. ASU's Sybil Dosty answered with a jumper 15 seconds later for what proved to be the winning margin after UCLA's shots did not fall down the stretch. Morris led UCLA with 14 points, while Lindsey Pluimer and Doreena Campbell contributed 12 points apiece. Campbell also had career-bests with eight assists and six boards. Regina Rogers added 13 rebounds and three blocks.
UCLA leads the series with the Wildcats by a 40-19 count after winning four of the last five overall meetings.
First Game Recap: UCLA earned its first Pac-10 victory of the year, defeating Arizona on the road on Dec. 30, 68-59. Freshman Nina Earl recorded her first career double-double, with career-highs of 23 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Lindsey Pluimer added 10 points and nine boards. UCLA led from start to finish, jumping out to a 9-2 lead to start the game and enjoying as much as an 18-point advantage. Arizona rallied to trim the lead to five with 3:29 to play, but Darxia Morris made a steal and fed to Earl, who was fouled and converted both free throws to help diffuse the threat.
Duck Threes Shoot Down Bruins
Oregon scored half of its baskets (10) from beyond the arc and posted a 66-55 win. UCLA ran off 13 of the first 15 points of the second half to erase a seven-point halftime deficit and take a 36-32 lead. Oregon then used a 10-0 run to take a 47-39 lead with 8:53 to play and regain control of the game. Lindsey Pluimer led UCLA with 15 points.
Bruins Rally For Win At OSU
UCLA rallied in the final seconds for a 55-52 road win over Oregon State. Tierra Henderson hit the front end of a one-and-one free throw situation with 7.8 seconds to play to put UCLA into the lead, 53-52. She missed the second, but freshman center Regina Rogers grabbed the rebound and scored a basket with five seconds to play to give the Bruins a 55-52 lead. Oregon State failed to get off a final shot. UCLA had trailed by seven points with 3:31 to play.
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. Three of the six freshmen have played in all 27 games, while a fourth has seen action in 26 games. Doreena Campbell has made 26 starts, Nina Earl 15, Darxia Morris 12, Regina Rogers 11 and Candice Brown 2. Five freshmen are averaging in double figures minutes played. Three freshmen have been in the starting lineup for 12 games (6-6 record) this season. Five freshmen have been on the court at the same time for the Bruins in numerous games this season.
Making The Grade
Five members of the Bruin squad made the Director's Honor Roll (3.0 or better with at least 12 graded units) in the Fall Quarter - senior Lindsey Pluimer, sophomores Allison Taka and Alexis Olivier, and freshmen Doreena Campbell and Christina Nzekwe. Pluimer and Taka earned GPAs of 3.5 or above.
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.
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, three-time Academic All-District selection and 2006-07 All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, has started each game of her career (119). Her total of 119 career games played ranks tied for seventh on the all-time school list.
In the home game versus Washington State (2/8/08), Pluimer moved into 10th on the all-time school rebound list. In the game at Washington (1/10/08), she became only the fifth Bruin to total at least 1,300 points, 650 rebounds and 75 blocked shots for a career, joining Ann Meyers, Necie Thompson, Natalie Williams and Maylana Martin.
Pluimer currently ranks 13th on UCLA's career scoring list with 1,510 points, 10th in rebounds with 711, sixth in blocked shots with 89 and seventh in 3-point field goals made (83).
Pluimer has been named to the 2007-08 CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine District 8 Academic All-America first team. Her name will now be placed on the national ballot with a chance to earn Academic All-America honors.
Campbell Strong All-Around
Guard Doreena Campbell has been a standout for the Bruins in all categories, averaging 8.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.35 assists, 1.65 steals and just 2.12 turnovers per game in 26 starts. She ranks No. 4 in the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio (1.58), No. 8 in assists (3.35), tied for No. 10 in steals (1.65) and No. 18 in rebounding (4.5). Campbell is first on the team in assists (87) and minutes per game (31.0). With 87 assists on the year, she currently ranks tied for eighth on the all-time UCLA freshman top-10 list.
Campbell 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-best 38 minutes of action at home versus Cal and matched her minutes played best at Washington while recording a new career-high with eight rebounds. She tied that rebounding mark with eight in the home game vs. USC and at Oregon.
Her Name Is Earl
Freshman forward Nina Earl ranks second on the team in scoring with a 8.6 average. Earl has scored in double figures nine 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). She has connected on 41.6% of her shots from the field, which is third-best on the team.
Morris Back In Business
UCLA freshman guard Darxia Morris, from Pasadena, CA (Muir HS), suffered a knee injury during a weekend (Jan. 4, 6) in which she scored 20 points in a win over then-No. 2 Stanford and added 14 points, including 12 in the second half, against No. 10 Cal. She had started the previous six games and in 12 games overall this season. Morris sat out two weeks (three games-UW, WSU, USC) of action before returning to the court vs. Oregon (Jan. 24). She came off the bench to score eight points in 20 minutes of action in the home game against the Ducks.
Morris is currently averaging 7.8 points (fourth on the team) and began the week averaging 1.83 steals, which ranks eighth in the Pac-10 Conference.
Sophomore center Moniquee Alexander has shown big improvements, earning starts in 13 of the last 18 games. She had five rebounds at home against both then-No. 2 Stanford and then-No. 10 California and led the team with nine rebounds, including four offensive boards, at Washington. Against then-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. On the year, she is averaging 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game and has played in 26 games with 15 overall starts. She sat out the Bruins' game at Stanford with a concussion and came off the bench in the home wins over the Washington schools. She returned to the starting lineup at home against USC and came off the bench in both games in Oregon.
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 (4.6 average) and blocks (14). Her rebound mark ranks 17th in the Pac-10. Her next blocked shot will move her into UCLA's freshman top-10 single-season list.
Henderson, a junior, and Morris, a freshman, have started together in five games. They rank first and second on the team in steals, with Henderson totaling 53 and Morris 44. Henderson is tied for fifth in the Pac-10 in steals per game (1.96), and Morris ranks eighth (1.83). Morris is second on the team in assists with 62 while averaging 7.8 points per game. Henderson has long been known as the Bruins' defensive spark plug, but she has also upped her offensive game this year, averaging 7.6 points and leading the team in scoring with a career-high 16 in the home win over Oregon State. She also poured in 15 at Pepperdine and 10 at Oregon State. At Arizona, Henderson and Morris 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).
Challenging '07-08 Schedule
The Bruins have already played host to the past two NCAA championship teams this season, 2005-06 title holder Maryland on Nov. 25; 2006-07 champ Tennessee on Dec. 19. In fact, UCLA has 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 have battled 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 St., BYU, Tennessee, UC Riverside, Arizona St., Stanford, Cal, and Washington - and three more in the WNIT - Rice, San Diego, and Oregon.
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 and 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 (1st start) and guards Campbell and Morris. 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. In the most recent games, at Oregon State and Oregon, freshman Candice Brown earned her first career starts.
The Bruins have utilized 11 different starting lineups in the 27 games this year.
Bruins Think Pink, Raise Money For Revlon/UCLA Breast Center
UCLA did its part in raising breast cancer awareness by participating in an ESPN2-televised Think Pink game on Feb. 10 against Washington. The Bruins wore special white and pink jerseys, which were auctioned online the following week. The Think Pink jersey auction recorded gross sales of $5, 052.60. The highest single bid was for $660 for the #13 UCLA jersey. All proceeds will be donated to the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center.
First To 100 Jerseys
Several Bruin teams will be wearing special jerseys or patches in 2007-08 to commemorate UCLA being the First to 100 NCAA Championships. The women's basketball team will don the new jerseys that have a different-colored 'C' in UCLA. The 'C' signifies the Roman numeral for 100.