UCLA Women Defeat California, 57-46
Jan. 8, 2010
Los Angeles, Calif. - UCLA (10-4, 3-0) captured its fifth-straight win on the season and third-consecutive to open league play when it registered a 57-46 decision over California (6-7, 0-2) in a Pac-10 Conference game played in Pauley Pavilion on Friday night. The last time UCLA recorded wins in the first three conference games was in the 2004-05 campaign, when it won its first five contests.
Jasmine Dixon led UCLA with 13 points and was the only Bruin in double-figures. All 10 Bruins who played scored in the game. Christina Nzekwe led the team with eight rebounds and also had two blocks. Alexis Gray-Lawson led all scorers with 20 points for California. She also tied for team-high honors with eight rebounds with Layshia Clarendon, who added 11 points for the Golden Bears.
California opened the second half by scoring the first five points to turn a 22-21 halftime deficit into a 26-22 lead with 17:58 remaining. The Bruins came back to score four straight to tie at 28-28. After a Cal basket, UCLA went on a decisive 11-0 run to take a 39-30 lead at 8:43, with five different players scoring points during the stretch. The Golden Bears narrowed the gap to six on a couple of occasions, the last coming at the 4:04 mark only to see the Bruins score the next five points and take a 52-41 lead with 1:24 remaining.
In the first half of action, UCLA jumped out to an early 8-4 lead at the 15:19 mark, but Cal quickly answered, scoring 11 of the game's next 12 points to take a 15-9 lead with 9:07 to play. That would be Cal's biggest edge in the half. The Bruins were able to survive a stretch of over nine minutes in which they scored just one basket by closing out the half on a 10-4 run to end the half with a one-point advantage, 22-21. A steal by senior center Moniquee Alexander led to a layup by junior Nina Earl with four seconds remaining, which gave UCLA its first lead since the 10:51 mark.
Turnovers were abundant in the first half of play as UCLA forced 15 Cal miscues. However, the Bruins shot only 32% for the half and turned the ball over nine times. Cal made just 29% of its shots, but held a 28-14 edge on the boards, including 14 at the offensive end.
'Our starters got off to slow start, but they really refocused in second half,' said UCLA head coach Nikki Caldwell. 'Cal did a great job on the glass, but our team prevailed in the end. I really challenged them to play a little bit tougher, and I'm overall very pleased with our effort.'
UCLA will host #2-ranked Stanford (12-1, 2-0) on Sunday afternoon in Pauley Pavilion. Tip-off is set for 2:05 p.m.
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