UCLA Plays At USC On Sunday, Feb. 8

Feb. 3, 2009

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GAME #20 DATE: Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009
OPPONENT: Southern California
SITE: Galen Center
TIP-OFF: 2:00 p.m.
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Michael Sondheimer

UCLA at USC On Sunday
The Bruins (14-6, 5-4 in the Pac-10) travel across town to meet USC (11-9, 5-4) on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Galen Center. UCLA will be looking for its first sweep of regular season games over the Trojans since the 1998-99 season.

In the first meeting of the season on Jan. 11, the Bruins used a series of runs, including a decisive 14-2 run midway through the second half, to help hand USC an 87-75 setback in Pauley Pavilion. Doreena Campbell led three Bruins in double digits with 20 points. The Bruins went from down three, 58-55, with 10:06 left to up nine, 69-60, during the big run, and the Trojans never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.

USC is led by senior guard Camille LeNoir (12.4 ppg), freshman forward Briana Gilbreath (11.6) and freshman guard Ashley Corral (10.0).

Strong second-half performances propelled both Stanford and Cal to wins over UCLA in the Bay Area last week. Stanford shot 59% (17-29 fg) after the halftime break and built on a two-point halftime advantage to come away with a 68-51 win on Sunday. Cal used 65% second-half shooting (13-20) to help erase a one-point Bruin lead at the break and went on to capture a 64-48 decision on Thursday.

The Series With USC
USC leads the series by a 41-29 margin. UCLA won the first meeting of the 2008-09 season on Jan. 11 by a score of 87-75 in Pauley Pavilion and will looking to complete its first sweep over the Trojans since the 1998-99 season. The Bruins secured an 82-64 verdict on Feb. 20, 1999 at USC after winning the first matchup of that season, 94-53, on Jan. 23, 1999 in Pauley Pavilion.

In the earlier meeting this year, USC jumped out to a 10-2 lead to start the game before the Bruins rallied with a 9-0 run to take their first lead, 11-10, with 15:29 to play in the half. The Trojans enjoyed a 27-23 advantage at the 6:48 mark when the Bruins proceeded to string together another 9-0 run to take their biggest lead in the contest to date at 32-27 and went on to enjoy a 40-34 lead at the break.

USC opened the second half on an 11-1 run to go ahead 45-41 with 16:37 remaining on the clock. The game remained close until Bruin freshman Atonye Nyingifa keyed a decisive 14-2 UCLA run which put the Bruins up 69-60 at the 6:47 mark. Nyingifa made two baskets, and her steal led to another basket by Doreena Campbell. The Trojans never got closer than nine points the rest of the way. The game featured 13 lead changes and six ties.

Campbell led the Bruins with 20 points and tied her career-high with eight rebounds. Chinyere Ibekwe had a season-high tying 15 points and game-high nine rebounds, and freshman Rebekah Gardner contributed 11 points. Nyingifa finished with nine points and collected eight rebounds, all in the second half.

USC has a 25-20 lead in the current Lexus Gauntlet standings (the men's basketball teams meet on Feb. 4). Sunday's women's basketball game is worth five points in the standings.

Bruins Enter The Pink Zone
Join the UCLA women's basketball team on Saturday, Feb. 14 as the Bruins, in conjunction with the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association (WBCA) and the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Education & Resource Center (WHERC), participate in 'Pink Zone' activities to help support and promote breast cancer awareness.

During the Bruins' Feb. 14 game against Arizona State, both teams will take part in bringing attention to breast cancer awareness. UCLA will wear special white and pink uniforms, which will be auctioned off online after the game, with proceeds to be divided between the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center and the Iris Cantor-UCLA WHERC. Both coaching staffs, band and spirit squad will also wear pink at the game, and the first 2,500 fans in the building will receive a free pink UCLA basketball t-shirt.

Prior to the game, the First Annual Carnival for the Cure will take place outside of Pauley Pavilion from 11am-1 pm. Admission is free. The event will feature fun carnival games, giveaways and prizes, face-painting booths, trivia games, healthy food samplings and cooking demonstrations. UCLA student-athletes, including members of the women's basketball team, will also be on hand for autographs and photos.

All fans attending the game are encouraged to wear pink. To help aid the cause, fans can purchase a pink UCLA Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirt for $10 and receive free admission to the game. The shirts will be available for sale at the BearWear stand outside of Pauley Pavilion before the game.

UCLA Amongst Nation's Best
In the latest NCAA rankings (Feb. 1), the Bruins are eighth in rebound margin (+9.6), 26th in steals (11.0 average), 46th in three-point fg% defense (.284), 56th in scoring average (69.2) and 60th in scoring margin (+8.2).

The 64-Point Question
Stanford became the seventh team this season to score more than 64 points against the Bruins. Five of UCLA's six losses, including four on the road, this season have come when the opponent has scored more than 64 points. UCLA has gone 2-5 in those games --- defeated Washington (74-66) and USC (87-75); and lost at Stanford (68-51), at Arizona State (68-44), to Oregon (73-56), at Maryland (88-65), and at Texas Tech (72-62). The sixth loss this season came at Cal, when the Golden Bears outscored the Bruins 64-48.

Bruins Bang Boards
UCLA has been exceptional on the rebounding front all season and began the week ranked second in the Pac-10 in caroms per game with a 42.7 average. UCLA also rated second in the Pac-10 and was eighth in the nation in rebound margin with a +9.6 mark. The Bruins rank first in the conference in offensive rebounds with 17.9 per contest.

The Bruins won the battle on the boards in the first nine games of the season and versus 16 of the 20 opponents overall. UCLA has recorded 50+ rebounds in seven of the 20 games, including a season-best 55 against USC on Jan. 11.

Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led UCLA in rebounding in nine of the team's 20 games, posting five double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF, a career-high 15 vs. CSUN, 12 vs. Nevada, 12 at Rice, 10 v. USC). She ranks seventh in the conference in rebounding (her sister Ify Ibekwe from Arizona was the Pac-10 leader) with an average of 7.5.

UCLA's 50+ Rebound Games
Total (Off-Def) - Opponent
54 (25-29) - vs. CSUF (11/16/08)
50 (18-32) - vs. Pepperdine (11/18/08)
54 (26-28) - vs. CSUN (11/30/08)
54 (29-25) - vs. CSUB (12/3/08)
54 (21-33) - vs. Nevada (12/7/08)
53 (21-32) - at Rice (12/17/08)
55 (23-32) - vs. USC (1/11/09)

Defense Delivers
In beating Arizona (1/17) and Washington State (1/22), UCLA put together back-to-back contests in which it limited the opponent to under 50 points for the first time ever in Pac-10 play. The last time UCLA held consecutive opponents to less than 50 points was Dec. 2 and Dec 3, 1988 in games against LMU (61-46) and Northern Arizona (80-46).

On Jan. 17, the Bruins surrendered a season-low 38 points at Arizona. It was the fewest points allowed by a UCLA team since the Bruins defeated Northern Arizona 77-37 on Nov. 28, 1987.

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 20 games, the Bruins have had seven different scoring leaders. However, Doreena Campbell has led the team in the last eight ballgames. Sharing the honors of high scorer have been Moniquee Alexander (12 v. Fullerton), Doreena Campbell (11 at Stanford, 13 at Cal, 20 v. Washington, 15 v. WSU, 17 at Arizona, 13 at Arizona State, 20 v. USC, 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.

Great Start
This year's squad became just the third UCLA team to have won at least 14 games by Feb. 1 --- the 1998-99 team won 17; the 1980-81 team won 19.

Nikki Caldwell began the week trailing only two other first-year head coaches in wins (Sylvia Crawley of Boston College began the week with 17 wins, Matt Corkery of American University had 15).

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 1998-99.

Home Sweet Home
The Bruins own an 11-1 record in Pauley Pavilion this year. It is the most wins a UCLA team has posted in Pauley Pavilion since the 1998-99 team went 13-3.

UCLA has won more than 11 home games in Pauley just four other seasons (13 in 1998-99; 12 in 1984-85; 16 in 1980-81; 13 in 1977-78). (note: from 1986 to 1997 UCLA did play some home games in the Wooden Center---in 1986-87, UCLA had another season with at least 11 home wins -seven in Pauley and five in the Wooden Center).

Shot of A Lifetime - $220,000
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 tip-off 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 will be $220,000 for the Arizona game on Feb. 12.

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.

Game 20: Stanford Recap
Stanford used 58.6% second-half shooting (17-29 fg) to help build on a two-point halftime lead and came away with a 68-51 win over the Bruins. The Cardinal pulled down 22 offensive rebounds, the highest opponent total of the year, and won the battle of the boards by a 46-34 margin. Doreena Campbell paced UCLA with 11 points, the eighth-straight game in which she has led the Bruins in scoring.

Game 19: Cal Recap
California used 65% second-half shooting (13-20 fg) to help erase a 23-22 Bruin halftime lead and earn a 64-48 win. Doreena Campbell led UCLA with 13 points. Cal also won the battle of the boards 36-26 and shot 25 free throws to the Bruin total of just five attempts.

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.

Looking Ahead
UCLA will return home on Feb. 12 to meet Arizona. It will be the first home game since a Jan. 24 win over Washington.

Making The Grade
Four 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 junior Moniquee Alexander earned her first, Freshman Rebekah Gardner earned honors in her first quarter.

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