UCLA Opens Women's Hoops Season at Iowa Tourney

Nov. 12, 2009

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The Bruins (19-12 last season, tied for fourth in the Pac-10 Conference) open the 2009-10 regular season against Illinois State University on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 2:30 pm CT / 12:30 p.m. Pacific in the first round of the KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge. Iowa meets Santa Clara in the first game of the tournament.

The winners and losers will then square off on Sunday. Iowa will play the 2 pm CT (Noon Pacific) game that day in a contest which will be streamed live on the Big 10 Network (check bigtennetwork.com for info.). The other game time is 11:30 am CT (9:30 a.m. Pacific).

UCLA has won its last three regular season openers and has a 24-11 all-time record in first games. In last year's opener, the Bruins defeated Cal State Fullerton, 78-62, on Nov. 16, 2008 in Pauley Pavilion in Nikki Caldwell's head coaching debut.

Illinois State returns four starters from a team which posted a 27-8 record and won the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title last year. ISU advanced to the NWIT where it dropped a 75-72 decision at Kansas in the semifinals. Senior guard Maggie Krick (12.6) is the leading returning scorer for the Redbirds. Six-five senior center Nicolle Lewis topped the team in rebounds (7.2) and averaged 10.1 points. The two programs have met one previous time on the hardwood, a 65-62 Illinois State win, on Jan. 4, 1982 in Pauley Pavilion.

UCLA has played at the University of Iowa once before, an 81-52 Hawkeye win on Nov. 24, 1990. Last season, Iowa advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, finishing with a 21-11 record after tying for second-place in the Big Ten Conference. Two starters return for the Hawkeyes, 5-9 junior guard Kachine Alexander (10.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 3.8 apg) and 5-8 sophomore guard Kamille Wahlin (7.6 p, 3.2 r, 2.7 a).

Santa Clara posted a 4-27 record a year ago and finished eighth in the West Coast Conference. Three starters return. UCLA leads the series 2-1, with the Broncos a winner in the last meeting (Dec. 1993).

UCLA defeated The Master's College, an NAIA school in Santa Clarita, CA, by a score of 80-66 on Monday night in Pauley Pavilion in its final tune-up for the regular season. Five Bruins registered double figure points led by senior guard Erica Tukiainen, who totaled 16. Junior forward Nina Earl and junior guard Doreena Campbell added 13 points each. Junior guard Darxia Morris and sophomore guard Rebekah Gardner chipped in with 10 apiece. Freshman forward Markel Walker led the Bruins on the boards with 11 and scored eight.

The Bruins led 32-25 at the half and took their first double digit lead, 47-37, at the 15:26 mark of the second half. The Master's College closed to within six points on a couple of occasions before the Bruins pulled away down the stretch.

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