UCLA Women Host Kansas Sunday At Noon

Dec. 19, 2008

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DATE: Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 12:02 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Net
TALENT: Jim Watson, Mary Murphy
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus
WEB: uclabruins.com

UCLA-Kansas On FSN Sunday
UCLA (8-1) hosts Kansas (7-1) on Sunday at Noon in Pauley Pavilion in a game that will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net. The Bruins have won six straight and are off to their best start to a season since the 1980-81 squad won its first 12 games. The last time a Bruin team won six in a row was in the 2005-06 season, and the last time a Bruin team won more than six in a row was in the 2002-03 season, when it captured wins in seven straight contests.

Kansas, which has lost only at Marquette (Dec. 7) this season, is coming off of a 59-58 overtime win at Creighton on Dec. 13. The Jayhawks are led by 5-11 junior guard/forward Danielle McCray, who averages 20.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

The Bruins and Jayhawks have not met since a 76-63 KU win in 1990. The series is tied at 1-1.

Nation's Best On Boards
For the third week in a row, UCLA ranks first in the nation in rebound margin (+17.8, beginning the week). The Bruins are not far off the all-time NCAA record margin of +18.3, held by the 1990 Louisiana Tech squad.

In the Pac-10 Conference, the Bruins began the week leading the second-ranked team, Arizona State, by +7.6. UCLA has outrebounded every opponent this season and has recorded 50+ rebounds in six of nine games.

Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in seven of the team's nine games, posting four double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF, a career-high 15 vs. CSUN, 12 vs. Nevada, 12 at Rice). She began the week ranked second in the conference in rebounding (behind her sister Ify Ibekwe from Arizona) with an average of 9.5 and was also second in the Pac-10 in offensive rebounds with an average of 4.1. As a team, UCLA led the conference in offensive rebounding at 20.6 per contest.

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 $160,000.

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.

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.

Dec. 21 Game Promotions
The first 1,000 Bruin fans through the door on Sunday will receive a free UCLA Basketball drawstring backpack. The game is also a double your points day for the Free Tickets, Full Ride student promotion, which offers UCLA students a chance at winning a $21,000 scholarship prize.

Game 9: Rice Recap
UCLA scored the first 20 points of the game, keeping the Owls off the board for nearly eight minutes, and handed Rice a 82-64 loss in Houston. Doreena Campbell led five Bruins in double digits points with 16. Chinyere Ibekwe had her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. It was the second straight game in which five Bruins hit for double digits.

Defense Delivers
UCLA has held its opponents to an average of 59.1 points per game this season. It has kept opponents to under 60 points (54.4 avg.) in five of its last six games, with a low of 47 scored by Nevada. When Rice scored 64 points in the last game, it snapped a streak of five straight opponents being held under the 60-point mark. The last time UCLA held more than five straight opponents to less than 60 points in a game was in the 1976-77 season, when the Bruins held five and six straight opponents to under 60 points in two different streaks.

The last six opponents have combined to shoot 32.8% from the field (110-335). The last three teams have shot 30.7% (55-179).

Sharing the Scoring
In nine games, the Bruins have had seven different scoring leaders. Sharing the honors of high scorer have been Moniquee Alexander (12 v. CSUF), Chinyere Ibekwe (15 v. Pepperdine), Doreena Campbell (16 at Rice, 18 v. San Diego, 25 at Maryland), Nina Earl (12 at Cal Poly), Erica Tukiainen (16 v. CSUN), Christina Nzekwe (13 v. CSUB, tied with Campbell), Darxia Morris (10 v. Nevada). The Bruins, who began the week ranked 13th nationally in scoring (77.9 ppg avg.), have had four games in which all active players have scored.

Pac-10 Ranked Top-10 Bruins
In games through Dec. 14, Chinyere Ibekwe ranked second in the Pac-10 conference in rebounding with a 9.5 mark and second in offensive rebounds with a 4.1 average. She was fifth in defensive rebounding at 5.4 and 10th in blocked shots (0.8). Doreena Campbell was fifth in assists (4.1), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.8) and fourth in FT shooting percentage (.875). Darxia Morris was fourth in assists (4.2) and seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.3).Tierra Henderson was seventh in steals (2.1).

As a team, the Bruins were second in scoring (77.9), third in scoring margin (+19.4), first in rebounding (48.5), first in rebounding defense (30.8), first in rebound margin (+17.7) and offensive rebounds (20.6), second in defensive rebounds (27.9), fourth in turnover margin (+4.0) and third in steals (12.4).

Looking Ahead
UCLA ends the calendar year with a road game at Texas Tech (Dec. 29). The Bruins open up the Pac-10 Conference schedule with three straight home contests, starting with a Jan. 2 date against Oregon State in Pauley Pavilion.

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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