UCLA Wraps Up Regular Season At OSU

March 6, 2009

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GAME #29 DATE: Saturday, Mar. 7, 2009
OPPONENT: Oregon State
SITE: Gill Coliseum
TIP-OFF: 12:30 p.m.
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Ralph Irvin

Bruins Face Beavers
UCLA (18-10, 9-8 in the Pac-10) will conclude the regular season on Saturday at 12:30 pm at Oregon State (18-10, 8-9). The Bruins are alone in fourth place in the Pac-10 standings, a game ahead of the Beavers and USC.

UCLA is coming off of a pair of exhilarating wins - a 70-69 win at Oregon on Thursday during which Darxia Morris launched a 40-foot game-winning shot at the buzzer, and a 71-56 win over then No.4-ranked Cal on Sunday. Morris, who had 13 points and four assists at Oregon, has averaged 16.3 points in her last three games.

Oregon State defeated USC, 61-58, on Thursday to notch its third-straight win. Alex Mitchell had a double-double off the bench with 16 points/10 rebounds.

Bruins Clinch 4 Seed
UCLA's win on Thursday, coupled with USC's loss at Oregon State, clinched the No. 4 seed for the Bruins in the Pac-10 Tournament. UCLA can finish no worse than tied for fourth in the standings, and thanks to the Bruins' win over Cal last weekend, the Bruins would win any tiebreakers, should one be needed, with both Oregon State and USC.

The Bruins will face the No. 5 seed (either USC or Oregon State) in the second round of the Tournament on Friday, Mar. 13 at 7:15 pm in the Galen Center.

About The Beavers
The Beavers have won their last three games overall (vs. USC and Oregon, at UCSB) and their last four Pac-10 home games (USC, Oregon, Washington State, Washington). Sophomore Talisa Rhea and senior Brittney Davis are tied for the team lead in scoring with a 14.0 points per game average (ranked fifth in the Pac-10). They have combined to make 104 three-point shots this season.

The Series With Oregon State
UCLA leads the series by a 35-17 count after rallying for a 60-53 win in the first meeting of this season on Jan. 2 in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins have captured the last four contests played in Corvallis, including the last one, a 55-52 decision on Feb. 21, 2008, in which the Bruins came back from a seven-point deficit with 3:31 to play.

When the two teams tangled earlier this season, UCLA rallied from a pair of 17-point first-half deficits to earn a seven-point win. The Beavers led 19-2 and 23-6 only to see the Bruins catch fire and run off 19 of the game's next 20 points over the final 7:07 of the half. UCLA connected on eight of its last nine shots to end the half with a 25-24 lead. After Oregon closed to within 52-48 with 4:20 on the clock, Moniquee Alexander broke a scoring drought by both teams with a shot in the lane at the 1:24 mark to make it 54-48. The Bruins then secured the game from the free throw line. Earl led UCLA with 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field and five steals. OSU's Alex Mitchell led all players with 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the field.

Halfcourt Prayer Answered
Sophomore guard Darxia Morris hit the game-winning shot from just beyond halfcourt at the buzzer to give UCLA a 70-69 win over Oregon on Thursday. The Ducks had taken a 69-67 lead after Taylor Lilley stole the ball near midcourt and drove the lane for a basket with 4.6 seconds remaining. After each team burned a timeout, UCLA inbounded the ball under the Duck basket. Morris grabbed the pass, dribbled just past the mid-court line and banked in a 40-footer at the buzzer to give the Bruins the win. Morris finished with 13 points, while Doreena Campbell led the team with 17 points. Atonye Nyingifa added 10 points with a team-best seven boards. To watch the video, CLICK HERE.

UCLA Amongst Nation's Best
In the latest NCAA rankings (Mar. 1), the Bruins are eighth in rebound margin (+9.3), 19th in steals (11.2 average), 71st in scoring average (67.7), 78th in scoring margin (6.6), and 88th in field goal % (.415). Doreena Campbell is 58th in free throw % (.822).

Ibekwe Reaches 600/60
Senior Chinyere Ibekwe grabbed her 600th career rebound against Stanford last week and in doing so became just the eighth player in UCLA history to record 600 rebounds and 60 blocks for a career.

UCLA's 600 rebound/60 block performers
Player (Years) - Rebounds/Blocks
Denise Curry (1978-81) - 1,310/74
Natalie Williams (1991-94) - 1,137/97
Necie Thompson (1981-83) - 940/101
Maylana Martin (1997-2000) - 935/96
Ann Meyers (1975-78) - 819/101
Sandra VanEmbricqs (1987-90) - 811/95
Lindsey Pluimer (2005-08) - 737/93
Chinyere Ibekwe (2006-09) - 610/66

More Morris, Please
Sophomore guard Darxia has been on a tear the last three games, scoring season-highs of 18 points against both Stanford and California last weekend, and adding 13 points, including a buzzer-beating, game-winning three at Oregon. In these last three games, Morris is shooting 53.7% from the field (22-of-41) and averaging 16.3 points, 2.3 assists and 2.3 steals.

Campbell Leads The Way
Sophomore guard Doreena Campbell has led the Bruins in scoring in 15 games this season, including a stretch of nine consecutive contests from Jan. 4-Feb. 8. Four of her five 20-point games this season have come against Pac-10 opponents (20 vs. USC at home, 20 vs. Washington at home, 20 at USC, 24 at Washington State).She has streak of 14 straight made free throws snapped at Oregon on Thursday and had a 12-game double-figure scoring streak snapped last week against Stanford when she scored four points.

In games through 3/5, Campbell ranked in five Pac-10 categories - 10th in scoring (13.2), 5th in assists (3.8), 7th in FT% (.811), 9th in steals (1.5) and 6th in assist/turnover ratio (1.3).

Nyingifa Steps Up In Pac-10 Play
Freshman Atonye Nyingifa has stepped up her game in Pac-10 Conference play, averaging 7.4 points and a team-high 5.4 rebounds in conference games. Nyingifa leads the Bruins in Pac-10 games in rebounds (91) and steals (26) and is shooting 48% from the field and 75.7% from the free throw line. By contrast, she averaged 3.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in non-conference games. At Washington, she recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, to go along with five steals. All three numbers were career-highs.

Tukiainen Bears Down Vs. Cal
Junior guard Erica Tukiainen had a career game against fourth-ranked California on Mar. 1, scoring a game-high and career-best 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting (including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc) to lead the Bruins to a 71-56 upset win. The 6-0 Tukiainen not only got the job done offensively, but she also stepped up defensively against 6-3 All-American post Devanei Hampton, holding her to just 11 points and four rebounds.

12 Players, 12 Starters
With Allison Taka's start at Washington, all 12 players on the Bruin roster have started at least one game this season. Only one other Pac-10 school (Washington) has every player on the roster with at least one start. Doreena Campbell and Erica Tukiainen have the most starts with 27 each, while Atonye Nyingifa has the longest streak of consecutive starts with 13.

64-Point Question
UCLA has held opponents to 64 points or less 17 times this season. Eight of the Bruins' 10 losses, including five on the road, have come when the opponent has scored more than 64 points. UCLA has gone 3-8 in games in which opponents have scored over 64, winning at Oregon (70-69), vs. Washington (74-66) and vs. USC (87-75) and losing to Stanford (58-69), Arizona St. (69-66), at USC (87-76), at Stanford (68-51), at Arizona St. (68-44), to Oregon (73-56), at Maryland (88-65), and at Texas Tech (72-62). Another loss this season came at Cal, when the Golden Bears scored exactly 64 in a 64-48 win.

Bruins Bang Boards
The Bruins won the battle on the boards in the first nine games of the season and in 21 of the 28 games overall. UCLA has recorded 50+ rebounds in seven of the 28 games, including a season-best 55 against USC on Jan. 11.Senior Chinyere Ibekwe has led or tied for top rebounder on the team in 10 games, posting five double-digit totals (14 vs. CSUF, a career-high 15 vs. CSUN, 12 vs. Nevada, 12 at Rice, 10 v. USC).

Home Sweet Home
The Bruins finished the regular season with a 13-3 record in Pauley Pavilion this year. It is the most wins a UCLA team has posted in Pauley Pavilion since the 1998-99 team also went 13-3 and ties for the second-most ever by a Bruin team.

UCLA has won more than 13 home games in Pauley just once (13 in 1998-99; 16 in 1980-81; 13 in 1977-78). (note: from 1986 to 1997 UCLA did play some home games in the Wooden Center on campus but never won more than 11 home games).

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

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.

Defense Delivers
The Bruins have held 13 opponents to less than 60 points this season. UCLA surrenders an average of 61.4 points per contest on the year, which would be the third-best mark in school history and the best since the 1976-77 team gave up 59.7 and the 1975-76 squad allowed 60.0.

In beating Arizona (1/17) and Washington State (1/22) earlier this season, 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.

Henderson Dismissed From Team
Senior guard Tierra Henderson was dismissed from the team on Mar. 3 after repeated violations of team rules. Henderson played in 20 games this season, starting 18, and averaged 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Game 27: Bruins Upset Cal
The Bruins limited Cal to just one basket in the final 7:39 of the contest and pulled away late to knock off the No. 4-ranked Golden Bears 71-56. A three-point shot by Christina Nzekwe with 5:55 remaining in the contest lifted UCLA into to a 51-49 lead it would not surrender. Erica Tukiainen scored a career-best 25 points to top the Bruins. Darxia Morris added 18.

Game 26: Stanford Recap
UCLA became the first team to score as many as 58 points against Stanford since a Jan. 4 contest against Arizona (a 70-61 Cardinal win), but it was not enough. After slicing a 14-point second-half Stanford advantage in half, the Bruins were held without a basket for almost seven minutes of action and the Cardinal pulled away for their 10th straight win. Darxia Morris finished with a season-high 18 points to lead UCLA.

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.

2009-10 Season Ticket Deposits
Fans can now secure reserved, floor-level season tickets for the UCLA Women's Basketball 2009-10 season for just $25. To guarantee the best seats in Pauley Pavilion for next season, visit the UCLA Central Ticket Office at tickets.ucla.edu or 310-UCLA-WIN.

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