UCLA Hosts Nevada On Sunday

Dec. 5, 2008

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DATE: Dec. 7, 2008
SITE: Pauley Pavilion (12,819)
TIP-OFF: 2 p.m.
VIDEO: uclabruins.com
AUDIO: am1150
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 Nevada
UCLA, now 5-1 on the season after a 104-57 win over CSU Bakersfield on Wednesday, continues a four-game homestand with a contest against Nevada on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins are off to their best start to a season since opening the 2004-05 campaign 6-1.

Nevada owns a record of 4-4, after dropping a 59-37 decision at UCSB on Dec. 4. That mark includes a win over then #7-ranked Louisville (Nov. 29) in a game played at Nevada. The Wolf Pack is led by pre-season all-conference selection Dellena Criner, a 5-7 senior guard who is averaging 15.8 points per game.This will be the first meeting between the two schools in women's basketball.

Game 6: CSUB Recap
UCLA recorded another victory over a local rival, blasting CSU Bakersfield by a 104-57 count. The Bruins achieved season-highs in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and three-point field goals. Christina Nzekwe recorded a career-high in points for the second game in a row, totaling 13 to tie for team-high honors with Doreena Campbell. Also with a career-high was Rebekah Gardner with 12 points.

Game 5: CSUN Recap
UCLA cruised to a 43-point victory, its largest since a 106-43 win over Sacramento State on Nov. 24, 2002, with a 96-53 win on Sunday over Cal State Northridge. The Bruins, who had a season-high 22 steals, forced a season-high 32 turnovers and converted those turnovers into 39 points. The Bruins also won the battle of the boards for the fifth consecutive game, 54-36. Erica Tukiainen led the Bruins with a career-high 16 points. Christina Nzekwe also recorded a career-high in points with 11.

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 $140,000.

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 - Dec. 7
A limited amount of free game program posters will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. This week's program posters feature Bruin sophomores Christina Nzekwe, Candice Brown and Darxia Morris.

Combo Ticket Package
Fans purchasing two tickets to the UCLA vs. Kansas women's basketball game on Dec. 21 will get the opportunity to buy two tickets for the men's basketball game between UCLA and Notre Dame scheduled for Feb. 7. The price of the combo package is $104. Women's tickets are located in sections 104-105, and the men's tickets are located in section 310.

Bruins Bang Boards
In each of the first six games of the 2008-09 campaign, the Bruins have won the battle on the boards, outrebounding their opponents by an average of 49.7 to 29.5. The Bruins have had four 50+ rebounding games, with 54 against CSU Bakersfield, Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton and 50 vs. Pepperdine. Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in five of the team's six games, posting two double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF and a career-high 15 vs. CSUN). As of Dec. 1, UCLA led the nation in rebound margin (+18.4) and the Pac-10 in rebounding average (48.8). UCLA is also the conference leader in offensive rebounding at 20.8 per contest. Ibekwe ranks second in the conference in rebounding with an average of 10.8. UCLA dominated the boards against CSU Bakersfield, outrebounding the Roadrunners 54-25, including 29-3 on the offensive end.

Defense Delivers
UCLA has held its opponents to an average of 60.5 points per game. The Bruins have kept opponents to under 60 points in four of their last five games, with a low of 48 by Cal Poly. The last three Bruin opponents - Cal Poly and CSUN - were held to an average of 52.7 points and 35.3% shooting from the field. Against Northridge, the Bruins recorded season-bests of 22 steals and 32 forced turnovers.

Sharing the Scoring
In six games, the Bruins have had six different scoring leaders. Sharing the honors of high scorer have been Moniquee Alexander (12 vs. CSUF), Chinyere Ibekwe (15 vs. Pepperdine), Doreena Campbell (25 at Maryland), Nina Earl (12 at Cal Poly), Erica Tukiainen (16 vs. CSUN) and Christina Nzekwe (13 vs. CSUB, tied with Campbell). The Bruins have had three games in which all active players have scored, including the last two contests in which all 12 players on the roster got on the scoreboard.

Pac-10 Ranked Bruins
In games through Nov. 30, Chinyere Ibekwe ranks second in the Pac-10 conference in rebounding with an 10.8 mark and first in offensive rebounds with a 4.6 average.She is third in defensive rebounding at 6.2. Doreena Campbell is third in assists (4.2), tied for fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.8) and third in FT shooting percentage (.938). Nina Earl ranks 10th in FG shooting percentage (.536), and Tierra Henderson is tied for 10th in steals (1.8)

As a team, the Bruins continue to lead the Conference in rebounding (48.8), rebound margin (+18.4) and offensive rebounds (20.8).

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 are in the midst of a four-game homestand which began on Nov. 30 against Cal State Northridge and includes 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. The class is rated as the nation's 14th-best according to ESPN HoopGurlz.

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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