UCLA Hosts USC In Women's Basketball Sunday Afternoon

Jan. 6, 2009

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GAME #14 DATE: Jan. 11, 2009
SITE: Pauley Pavilion
TIP-OFF: 2:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports Net
TALENT: Paul Sunderland, Ann Meyers
AUDIO: am1150, uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Tracy Murray, Mike Sondheimer
TICKETS: $12 adults/$10 youth (Reserved), $8 adults/$6 youth (GA), UCLA students free w/ ticket from CTO. Purchase at UCLA Central Ticket Office (310-UCLA-WIN)
WEB: uclabruins.com

Bruins Host Trojans Jan. 11
UCLA (10-3, 1-1) will host USC (8-5, 2-0) on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion. The game will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Net.

The Bruins split with the Oregon schools in last week's opening Pac-10 conference games. UCLA bested Oregon State (60-53) to begin the Pac-10 slate on Friday. Oregon handed the Bruins a 73-56 setback on Jan. 4. The loss snapped an eight-game home win streak, which was the longest since the 2005-06 team captured 10 straight in Pauley.

This Sunday, UCLA will meet a USC team which has won three of its last four games and opened its Pac-10 schedule with wins over Oregon State (78-54) and Oregon (66-55).

USC is led by freshman guard Brianna Gilbreath, who tops three Trojans in double figure scoring with an 11.8 mark. Senior guard Brynn Cameron was named this week's Pac-10 Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 20 points vs. Oregon State, plus 13 vs. Oregon.

USC has a 25-10 lead in the current Lexus Gauntlet standings. Sunday's women's basketball game is worth five points in the standings.

The Series With USC
The Trojans lead the overall series by a 41-28 margin. UCLA captured the last meeting in the series, a 73-52 decision at the 2008 Pac-10 Tournament. Darxia Morris had a big game, scoring a game-high 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. The Bruins forced USC into a Pac-10 Tournament record 29 turnovers and had 18 steals. UCLA shot 62.5% from the field in the second half to pull away. USC won both regular season meetings in 2008, 64-56 at the Galen Center on Jan. 19 and 49-36 in Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 17.

Last season's games in Los Angeles had an average attendance of 8,279, as both UCLA and USC hosted crowds of over 8,000.

$21,000 UCLA Tuition Giveaway
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 receive 10 points. Attending 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. Students must pick up a free ticket at the Central Ticket Office to have their attendance counted.

UCLA Off To Great Start
The Bruins won as many as nine pre-season non-conference games for the first time since 1986-87, the first year for Pac-10 Conference women's basketball. The best previous total during that stretch was eight wins in the Elite Eight season of 1998-99.

Bruins Bang Boards
UCLA has been exceptional on the rebounding front, beginning the week with an average of 45.1 rebounds per game to lead the Pac-10 Conference (Jan. 4 rankings). UCLA also leads the Pac-10 in rebound margin with a +13.3 mark.

The Bruins won the battle on the boards in the first nine games and verus 12 of their first 13 opponents. UCLA has recorded 50+ rebounds in six of the 13 games.

Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in eight of the team's 13 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 third in the conference in rebounding (her sister Ify Ibekwe from Arizona is the Pac-10 leader) with an average of 8.5. As a team, UCLA began the week leading the conference in offensive rebounding at 18.9 per contest.

Defense Delivers
UCLA has held its opponents to an average of 61.1 points per game this season (sixth in Pac-10). Oregon became just the third team to score more than 64 points against the Bruins this season --- all three times the Bruins have lost (73-56 to Oregon, 88-65 at Maryland and 72-62 at Tech).

When Rice scored 64 points in a meeting earlier this season in Houston, 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.

Sharing the Scoring Load
In 13 games, the Bruins have had seven different scoring leaders. Sharing the honors of high scorer have been Moniquee Alexander (12 v. Fullerton), Doreena Campbell (12 v. Oregon,16 at Rice, 18 v. San Diego, 25 at Maryland), Nina Earl (15 v. Oregon State,12 v. Kansas, tied with Nzekwe; 12 at Cal Poly), Chinyere Ibekwe (15 v. Pepperdine), Darxia Morris (10 v. Nevada), Christina Nzekwe (12 v. Kansas, tied with Earl; 13 v. CSUB, tied with Campbell), Erica Tukiainen (16 v. Texas Tech, 16 v. CSUN). The Bruins have had four games in which all active players have scored.

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 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 $190,000 for the USC game.

Game Promotions - Jan. 11
The first 500 Bruin fans through the door on Sunday will receive a free UCLA T-shirt. In addition, free game program posters will be distributed to the first 2,000 fans.

Family Four-Pack
For all Pac-10 home games, UCLA is offering a Family Four Pack ticket deal. Fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for just $44. To order tickets, visit the UCLA Central Ticket Office or call 310-UCLA-WIN.

UCLA Amongst Nation's Best
In the latest NCAA rankings (Jan. 5), the Bruins are fourth in rebound margin (+13.3). UCLA is also 36th nationally in scoring offense (73.1 points per game) and 23rd in steals (11.5 average).

Pac-10 Ranked Bruins
In games through Jan. 4, Chinyere Ibekwe ranked third in the Pac-10 conference in rebounding with an 8.5 mark and third in offensive rebounds with a 3.6 average. She was fourth in defensive rebounding (4.9) and tied for sixth in blocked shots (1.0). She was also 10th in field goal percentage (.479). Doreena Campbell was tied for fifth in assists (3.9), third in assist/turnover ratio (1.4) and third in FT shooting percentage (.906). Darxia Morris was seventh in assists (3.7) and ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.0). Christina Nzekwe was ninth in field goal percentage (.493) 15th in rebounding (5.5) and tied for 11th in steals (1.6).

As a team, the Bruins began the week first in rebounding (45.1), first in rebound margin (+13.3), first in offensive rebounds (18.9), second in steals (11.5), third in scoring (73.1), third in defensive rebounds (26.2), third in blocked shots (3.4), fourth in rebounding defense (31.8),fifth in scoring margin (+12.0), fifth in field goal percentage (.426), fifth in turnover margin (+2.6).

Game 13: Oregon Recap
The Bruins dropped their first home game of the season after eight straight wins in a 73-56 loss to Oregon. The Ducks led from start to finish and shot an opponent season-high 56% from the field while limiting UCLA to a season-low 56 points. Oregon held a 32-26 lead at the half and went on a 11-2 run after UCLA had closed to 44-41 which helped to put the game away. Doreena Campbell led UCLA with 12 points.

Game 12: Oregon State Recap
The Bruins rallied from a 17-point first-half deficit to hand Oregon State just its second loss of the season and went on to post a 60-53 win in the Pac-10 opener for both teams. UCLA misfired on 11 of its first 12 shots and fell behind 19-2 at the start of the contest. However, UCLA closed the first half with a 19-1 run of its own to take a 25-24 lead at the break.

The Bruins never surrendered the lead in the second half and jumped out to a 44-31 lead with 12:16 to play. OSU crept back into the game, but the Bruins won it down the stretch with some crucial free throw shooting. Nina Earl led UCLA with 15 points and five steals.

Jasmine Dixon Transfers To UCLA
Former McDonald's All-American Jasmine Dixon has transferred from Rutgers to UCLA and will be eligible to compete for the Bruins after the completion of the 2009 Fall Quarter.

Dixon, a 5-11 guard from Long Beach, CA (Long Beach Poly HS), played in five games for Rutgers this season and averaged 3.2 points and 1.6 rebounds. She had been one of the nation's most highly-honored high school players in her senior season of 2008. She was named first-team prep All-American by Parade Magazine, USA Today, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, EA Sports and ESPN HoopGurlz. In addition, Dixon was tabbed as the 2008 Gatorade California Player of the Year and the LA Times Girls' Basketball Player of the Year. She was listed as the sixth-best player in the nation by All-Star Girls Report and was rated the seventh-best guard and the 26th-best player overall in the class of 2008 by HoopGurlz.com. She went on to play in the 2008 McDonald's All-American game.

Dixon helped lead Long Beach Poly HS to three straight California Division I State titles. She averaged 14.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.2 steals and 3.2 assists per game in her senior season. The new Bruin was named the Southern Section Division I-AA Player of the Year by the Southern California Interscholastic Coaches Association and was twice named the California Federation Division I Player of the Year.

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.

Making the Grade
Three members of the Bruin squad made the UCLA Athletic Director's honor roll (3.0 of better with at least 12 graded units) during the Fall 2008 quarter. Junior Allison Taka continues her streak of making the Director's Honor Roll in every quarter of her academic career. Junior Erica Tukiainen has received her sixth honor roll distinction, and freshman Rebekah Gardner earned honors in her first quarter.

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