UCLA Holds On To Defeat Washington State, 59-56

Jan. 21, 2010

Pullman, Wash. - Jasmine Dixon and April Cook went at it like prize-fighters for their respective teams in the second half, and Dixon and the Bruins came out the winners with a 59-56 victory in Pullman, Wash. on Thursday evening. Dixon scored a career-high 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the field and also had a team-high eight rebounds. Both Dixon and Cook scored 17 points in the second half.

UCLA scored the first 11 points of game as Washington State missed its first seven shots. The Cougars ran off six straight points to trim the lead to 11-6 before the Bruins went on an 8-0 run of its own to extend the lead to 13, 19-6. The Bruins led by as many as 15 points and went into the half with a 32-17 advantage.

Poor shooting plagued Washington State in the first half. The Cougars made just two of its first 27 shots from the field and finished the half shooting 3-of-26 (11.5%). Washington State kept itself in the game by getting to the foul line, hitting 9-of-16 free throws. UCLA shot 12-of-30 (40%) from the field in the half and 7-of-8 from the foul line.

Washington State started the second half with a 9-0 run to close to within six, 32-26. UCLA scored its first points of the second half at 14:37 on a Dixon layup and came back just six seconds later with an Erica Tukiainen jumper after a steal to bring the lead back to 10, 36-26.

Back-to-back three-pointers by April Cook keyed an 8-0 run that brought WSU to within four, 42-38, with 8:09 to play, but Dixon brought the Bruins back to an eight-point lead with three layups during a 6-2 run. The Cougars cut the lead to two points, 49-47, after another three-pointer by Cook at 3:34, but Dixon answered with a layup to extend UCLA's lead to 51-47 at 3:09. Back-to-back Cook baskets gave Washington State its first lead of the game at 1:30, but Dixon came back at the other end to regain the lead, 54-53, with a layup at 1:18. Doreena Campbell forced a turnover on the Cougars' next possession by taking a charge, and Darxia Morris hit a fall-away jumper with the shot clock expiring to extend the lead to three, 56-53, with 39 ticks on the clock.

Cook missed a three-pointer with 28 seconds left, and Markel Walker was fouled on the rebound and hit one of two shots, making it a two-possession game. April Perkins hit a three-pointer with 13 seconds left for the Cougars, trimming the lead to one. Campbell was fouled after the inbound, and she made both shots. The Cougars missed a pair of three-pointers and got possession with five-tenths of a second after a held ball, and Cook missed again on a last-second effort.

'We've been in late-game situations, at Kansas, at Tennessee, against Stanford, where we haven't come up with the win, so to be able to respond and make the plays when we need the plays to be made, I'm very pleased with us having that capability,' said UCLA head coach Nikki Caldwell. 'I'm not pleased with us having the capabilities of losing leads, but we'll work on that.'

Dixon was the only Bruin in double-figures. Christina Nzekwe and Tukiainen added eight points each. Cook finished with 19 points for the Cougars. Perkins added 16, and KiKi Moore had 11.

UCLA improves its record to 11-6, 4-2 in the Pac-10. Washington State remains winless in the conference at 0-7 and 5-13 overall.

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