No. 23 Bruins Begin Pac-10 Play on Friday

March 9, 2010

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***GAME #30: Fri., Mar 12, 2010
OPPONENT: Washington / Oregon State
SITE: Galen Center
TIP-OFF: 7:15 p.m.
TALENT: Dave Marcus and Michael Sondheimer
Note: the winner of the above game will play at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Mar. 14 on FSN

No. 23/23 Bruins AT PAC-10 TOURNEY
UCLA (22-7, 15-3) heads to the Pac-10 Tournament having closed the regular season by posting wins in 12 of its last 13 games, including a season-high eight in a row (the last time it had a longer streak was in 1998-99,10 in a row) at season's end. The Bruins are the second-seed in the conference tournament which will begin on Thursday at the Galen Center. UCLA's first game will come on Friday when it will play the winner of the Washington v. Oregon State game at 7:15 p.m.

The Votes Are in - RANKED Bruins
The Bruins have received votes in the two major Top-25 polls in each of the last four weeks (2/15-3/8).UCLA was tabbed as the No. 23 team this week in the ESPN/ USA Today Coaches Poll and moved into the AP Poll for the first time this season at No. 23. This is UCLA's first listing in the AP poll since it was ranked No. 21 in Nov. of 2006.

UCLA CLINCHES 2nd in Pac-10
UCLA finished in second-place in the Pac-10 regular season standings and earned the #2 seed into the conference tournament.The #2 seed is UCLA's highest ever for the tournament, which began in 2001-02. The Bruins won the Pac-10 Tournament, once before, in the 2005-06 season.
The second-place finish is UCLA's best since it captured a share of first-place in the 1998-99 season, which is the Bruins' lone Pac-10 title. UCLA has finished second (tied) in the Pac-10 conference, once before, in 1997-98.

UCLA's 15-3 record in conference play matches its best performance ever in the Pac-10. The 1998-99 team captured a share of first place with a 15-3 finish.The Bruins won eight out of nine conference games in the second-half of Pac-10 play. It is the most wins ever by a Bruin team down the stetch in the Pac-10. UCLA had won as many as seven Pac-10 second-half games on three previous occasions, each with a 7-2 record, and all three helped put them into the NCAA Tournament (2005-06, 2003-04, 1997-98).
The Bruins' 7-2 first half Pac-10 start was the team's best since it began the 1999-00 conference season with six consecutive wins and also finished with a 7-2 mark. In 1998-99, UCLA opened with nine straight wins in Pac-10 play. The Bruins have had only three previous Pac-10 first half results with seven or more wins (7-2 in 1999-00; 9-0 in 1998-99; 7-2 in 1997-98) NOTE -- first Pac-10 season was 1986-87.

About The Opponent
The Bruins swept both Washington and Oregon State this season.Washington leads the series with the Bruins by a 27-23 count, but UCLA has captured six of the last seven meetings. UCLA owns an 38-18 advantage in the series with the Beavers, having won seven of the last eight meetings.

Pac-10 Post-Season Honors
Nikki Caldwell was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in a vote of local and national media. Jasmine Dixon and Markel Walker were each chosen to the 15-member All-Pac-10 team. Walker was also selected to the five-member All-Freshman team.

Jan. 23, 2010 in Seattle, WA ---The Bruins used 60% second-half shooting to help take the lead and then held on for a 69-65 win at Washington. UCLA trailed 30-28 at the break in a game that had eight ties and 12 lead changes. The Bruins took the lead for good at 53-52 on a Doreena Campbell free throw with 5:12 remaining. Jasmine Dixon finished with 25 points, while Campbell added 21.
Feb. 18, 2010 in Pauley Pavilion --- UCLA opened the second half on a decisive 23-4 run and went on to earn a 73-55 win over Washington. The Huskies, who shot 59% in running out to a 32-31 halftime lead, were limited to just 24% shooting in the second half of play. Markel Walker led the Bruins with 19 points. Jasmine Dixon added 17.

Jan. 30, 2010 in Pauley Pavilion ---The Bruins held Oregon State scoreless from the field for over six-and-a-half minutes in the first half and turned a 10-9 deficit into a 24-12 lead during the stretch on the way to a 70-44 win. UCLA ended the half with a 31-14 lead and outscored OSU 17-4 to start the second half and put the game away. Markel Walker led UCLA with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Feb. 25 2010 • Corvallis, OR --- UCLA jumped out to an early lead and went on to a 74-53 win at Oregon State. The Bruins held OSU to one basket over an almost 10 minute stretch late in the first half and enjoyed a 43-21 margin at the break. Markel Walker scored a game-high 19 points. Jasmine Dixon added 17 points, and Darxia Morris dished out 10 assists with zero turnovers.

Dixon SEES 30/20
Sophomore Jasmine Dixon tallied 31 points and 20 rebounds in the win at Oregon (2/27). Only one other time in UCLA women's history has a player reached the 30/20 levels - Natalie Williams with 32/25 in a 1994 game against Arizona State.Dixon's 20 points in the win over Oregon earlier this season in Pauley was her third-straight game of 20 or more points at the time. Noelle Quinn (now with the Sparks) was the last Bruin to reach 20 points in three or more consecutive games (six straight in 2005-06).
Dixon has scored in double digits in the last seven games. The Bruins own a record of 18-4 in her 22 games. Her field goal percentage of .557 ranks second in the Pac-10 and 17th in the nation.

EIGHT in Top 58 In NCAA Stats
The Bruin team began the week listed in the Top 58 of the latest NCAA national rankings (from Mar. 7) in eight categories - 16th in rebound margin (6.9), 29th in field goal% (44.1), 31st in steals/g (10.6), 32nd in scoring margin (11.9), 37th in scoring defense (57.0), 41st in fg% defense (36.4), 44th in turnover ratio (2.97), 58th in assists/g (14.6). (Note-332 teams ranked).

The Bruins are 17-0 this season when scoring at least 64 points and have won their last 20 straight games under Coach Nikki Caldwell when hitting the 64-point mark ... UCLA is 18-4 since transfer Jasmine Dixon made her UCLA debut on Dec. 15... The Bruins shot 51.0% vs. Ariz. St. and have now shot better than 50% in 10 games this season, all wins ... Bruins are shooting 52% over the last six games (177-339) ... The Bruins are 31-3 in the Caldwell era in games in which they have held opponent to 60 points or less ... UCLA has never finished with more than 15 Pac-10 conference wins---1998-99 (also 15 - T1st) when Maylana Martin was the leading scorer... UCLA has finished with 20 wins or more in four previous seasons since Pac-10 play began in 1986-87--- 2005-06 (21), 1998-99 (26), 1997-98 (20), 1991-92 (21) and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of those seasons --- note: UCLA also had 20-win seasons in 1984-85 (20), 1980-81(29), 1978-79 (24), 1977-78 (27), 1976-77 (20) ... Nikki Caldwell is the first UCLA coach to be named Conference Coach of the Year since Billie Moore earned WCAA Coach of the Year honors in 1984-85.

Defensive Dandies
The Bruins have held opponents in 26 of 29 games to 70 points or less, 25 opponents to 65 points or less and 20 to 60 points or less. UCLA held eight straight opponents to less than 60 points earlier this season, one shy of the school record stretch of nine set in the 1974-75 season.
In addition, the Bruins have limited the last 33 opponents to less than 50% shooting. Opponents are shooting .364 against the Bruins. Nineteen opponents have shot less than 40% this season and just one has shot over 44% (at UW - 46%). Opponents are scoring 57.0 ppg. Both opponent marks - shooting % and scoring defense - approach or would set the school record totals of .355 in 1976-77 for shooting % and 59.7 ppg in 1976-77.
The 21.7 fg% shot by Cal (2/6) was an opponent season-low and the fourth time this season the Bruins have held an opponent to less than 30% shooting (at Cal, at WSU, Cal, Utah).
In Coach Caldwell's two seasons at the helm, her Bruin teams have held 34 opponents to 60 points or less, 11 opponents to 50 points or less and four to 40 points or less. UCLA has held two opponents to sub-40 scoring games this season - Cal with 32 and Utah with 33.

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