Women's Basketball Begins Four-Game Homestand Sunday vs. CSUN

Nov. 28, 2008

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DATE: Nov. 30, 2008
OPPONENT: Cal State Northridge
SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,809)
TIP-OFF: 2 p.m.
AUDIO/VIDEO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Mike Sondheimer, Tracy Murray
WEB: uclabruins.com
UCLA TICKETS: $12 adults/ $10 youth (Reserved), $8 adults/ $6 youth (GA); UCLA students free w/ ticket from CTO (310-UCLA-WIN)

Bruins Host CSUN
UCLA, now 3-1 on the season after a 57-48 win at Cal Poly on Wednesday, begins a four-game homestand with a contest against Cal State Northridge on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion.

Cal State Northridge owns a 0-6 record and is coming off a mid-week trip to Alaska for the Great Alaska Shootout. The Matadors have lost to three upcoming Bruin opponents (Rice, 55-76; San Diego, 51-64; and CSU Bakersfield, 59-74). Analee Viena-Lota leads the Matadors in both scoring (9.5) and rebounding (6.2). Former UCLA Bruin Carla Houser is an assistant coach for the Matadors.

UCLA won last year's meeting, 81-69, in Northridge on Nov. 14 and leads the overall series, 8-0. Five Bruins scored in double digits in last year's contest, including returners Doreena Campbell (14), Nina Earl (13), Darxia Morris (12) and Erica Tukiainen (10).

Game 4: Cal Poly Recap
UCLA earned its first road win of the season on Wednesday with a 57-48 win at Cal Poly. The Bruins utilized a full court press in the first half to break open a close game and went on to take a 28-19 lead into the locker room at halftime. UCLA opened the second half with a 12-4 burst to increase a nine-point halftime lead to 40-23 with 15:30 on the clock and maintained a double-digit lead until the final seconds of the contest. Nina Earl led the Bruins with 12 points, and Tierra Henderson contributed a career-high nine rebounds.

Shot of A Lifetime
At every home game, one lucky fan will have an opportunity to win an escalating prize of at least $100,000 at every UCLA women's basketball home game in the halftime contest 'Shot of a Lifetime'.

Fans can sign up to participate prior to tipoff inside Gate 16 of Pauley Pavilion, and one contestant will be chosen at random. That lucky fan will have 25 seconds to make (in order) a shot from behind the left elbow, a shot from behind the right elbow, a three-pointer from the top of the key, and a half-court shot. The grand prize for making these four shots in the time limit is at least $100,000. For every game that does not have a winner, the prize value will increase by $10,000. If no one has won the grand prize by the final home game of the season, that game's participant will be shooting for a quarter of a million dollars. The prize is currently at $120,000.

Free Tickets, Full Ride
UCLA students will have an opportunity to win a full $21,000 UCLA scholarship in a promotion called 'Free Tickets, Full Ride'. By attending any of the first 10 regular season women's basketball home games, current UCLA students will accumulate points towards a chance at the scholarship prize. For every game they attend, students will receive 10 points. Attending the Dec. 21 game vs. Kansas and the Jan. 11 game vs. USC will double their cumulative point total. At halftime of the USC game, one student will be randomly drawn as the winner. The more games you attend, the more chances you have to win.

Game Promotions - Nov. 30
A limited amount of free game program posters will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. This weekend's program posters feature Bruin sophomores Christina Nzekwe, Candice Brown and Darxia Morris. After the game, Nzekwe will be signing autographs by Gate 12 on the concourse level.

Bruins Bang Boards
In their first four games of the 2008-09 campaign, the Bruins have won the battle on the boards and by an average of 47.5 to 29.0. The Bruins have had two 50+ rebounding games, with 54 vs. Cal State Fullerton and 50 vs. Pepperdine. Senior Chinyere Ibekwe had career-highs of 14 and 15 rebounds, respectively, in those games. Against Cal State Fullerton, UCLA outrebounded its opponent by a margin of 33 boards and totaled 25 offensive rebounds, four more than Fullerton's total rebound count of 21. UCLA also outrebounded Maryland, 43-36, led by Ibekwe's nine, and outrebounded Cal Poly by a 43-31 margin, led by Tierra Henderson's career-best nine boards. Ibekwe ranks third in the conference in rebounding with an average of 11.5 rpg.

Pac-10 Ranked Bruins
In games through Nov. 26, Chinyere Ibekwe ranks third in the Pac-10 conference in rebounding with an 11.5 mark and first in offensive rebounds with a 4.5 average. She is also tied for 28th in scoring with a 9.5 ppg average. Doreena Campbell is tied for fifth in assists (4.0), sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.5), fourth in FT shooting percentage (.938), and 18th in scoring (11.3). Nina Earl ranks 10th in FG shooting percentage (.545). Tierra Henderson is 16th in rebounding (6.5)

As a team, the Bruins continue to lead the Conference in rebounding (47.5), rebound margin (+18.5) and offensive rebounds (19.5).

Coach Nikki Caldwell
On April 17, 2008, UCLA announced the hiring of Nikki Caldwell as head women's basketball coach. Caldwell joined the Bruins after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Tennessee for the past six seasons, including the last two National Championship campaigns in 2007 and 2008. In her previous 14 seasons as a collegiate player (1991-1994 at Tennessee) and as an assistant coach (Tennessee 1999, Virginia 2000-02, Tennessee 2003-08), Caldwell's teams have posted an amazing 404-76 record and appeared in the NCAA Tournament each season, while winning three national championships.

Looking Ahead
The Bruins begin a four-game homestand starting on Nov. 30 against Cal State Northridge and including CSU Bakersfield (Dec. 3), Nevada (Dec. 7) and San Diego (Dec. 14). UCLA ends the month of December with road games at Rice (Dec. 17) and at Texas Tech (Dec. 29) sandwiched around a nationally televised home date with Kansas (Dec. 21).

Challenging Schedule
The Bruins will face a schedule that features seven teams which advanced to post-season play last season. Five appeared in the NCAA Tournament (Maryland, San Diego, Stanford, Arizona State, Cal), and two played in the Women's NIT (Texas Tech, Kansas).

Bruins Sign Two For '09-10
Head coach Nikki Caldwell and staff signed two high school standouts, 6-1 forward/guard Markel Walker and 5-4 point guard Mariah Williams, to letters-of-intent during the early period in November.

Walker, rated as the No. 4 high school player in the country on the ESPNU HoopGurlz list for the nation's top 100, averaged 16.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game last season for Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, PA. She was the 2007-08 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania.

Williams, an All-State selection as a junior, attends Aurora, CO Regis Jesuit High School. She averaged 11.5 points, 4.2 assists and 3.3 steals per game last season while shooting 60% from the field and 43% from three-point range.

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