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Bruins at Oregon on Monday on the Pac-12 Networks

Feb 16, 2014


EUGENE, Ore. – UCLA (11-14, 5-8) concludes a three-game road trip when it faces the Oregon Ducks (13-11, 4-9) in Matthew Knight Arena on Feb. 17. The game will tip-off at 4:06 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

Venue: Matthew Knight Arena
Arena Capacity: 12,364
Date: Feb. 17, 2014
Time: 4:06 p.m. (PT)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Talent: Ann Schatz (play-by-play), Mary Murphy (analyst)
Online Audio:
Talent: Dave Marcus (play-by-play)

This is the 58th meeting between UCLA and Oregon with the Bruins leading the series 32-25. UCLA has won seven of the last eight meetings and scored the second-most points this season in an 88-83 win at home (Jan. 17). Last year, the Bruins poured in a season-high for an 89-80 win at Oregon (Jan. 4, 2013) in last year’s Pac-12 opener. Atonye Nyingifa led UCLA with 18 points as five Bruins scored in double figures. The Bruins led 50-32 at halftime and by as many as 26 points. UCLA held a double-digit lead for most of the game (34:04) and did so until Devyn Galland hit a three-pointer with eight seconds remaining in the game. Nirra Fields scored 14 points and added six rebounds while Kari Korver scored 11 points for UCLA. Markel Walker had 10 points, 11 rebounds and six assists for the Bruins. Jillian Alleyne had 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Ducks. Ariel Thomas led Oregon in scoring with 20 points.

The UCLA Bruins had their backs against the wall versus the high-scoring Oregon Ducks, but responded furiously and pulled out an 88-83 win on Jan. 17, 2014. It was a career night for multiple Bruins, as Atonye Nyingifa poured in a career-high 34 points, Thea Lemberger drained a career-best six three-pointers and Corinne Costa grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. Lemberger tied her season high with 25 points. Three Ducks scored in double figures, led by junior Katelyn Loper with 19. Senior Ariel Thomas and sophomore Jillian Alleyne added 15 points apiece, while Alleyne pulled down a season-high 20 rebounds. After leading 44-43 at the break, the Ducks stretched their largest lead of the game to 13 points (77-64) with 6:27 remaining. Bruin sophomore Nirra Fields then caught fire, scoring nine of her 19 points during a 13-0 run that tied the score at 77 with 4:13 to go. Four more lead changes would occur down the stretch, but the Bruins pulled away at the end. It was the third time this season UCLA was victorious after trailing by double digits. The Bruins dished out a season-high 24 assists, made a season-best 50.8% (32-of-63) from the field and a season-high nine from three-point range.

UCLA erased a 13-point second-half (6:27) deficit to beat Oregon 88-83 on Jan. 17, 2014. It marked the third time this season that the Bruins have come back to win after trailing by double digits (down 14 to No. 10 Oklahoma in the first half and 12 to Grand Canyon in the second half).

UCLA has lost three key players for the season as the Bruins will be without redshirt freshman Lauren Holiday (3.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg) for the remainder of the year, as announced by Head Coach Cori Close last week. Holiday sustained a head injury at the end of the first half of the USC game (Dec. 30). She joins sophomore guard Kari Korver (4.7 ppg, 1.5 rpg) and junior forward Kacy Swain (3.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg) as players lost for the year. Both of them suffered torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) within a week of each other. Korver also had a tear in her lateral meniscus. Freshman forward Paulina Hersler has yet to play this season due to a knee injury she sustained in Sweden before arriving in the United States.

Atonye Nyingifa became UCLA’s all-time leader in games played at USC (Feb. 8) and now has 132. That mark also ranks tied for sixth on the NCAA active career list. She is currently 14th on the Bruins’ career scoring list with 1,466 points (behind Necie Thompson - 1981-83 - 1,536), which ranks 66th on the NCAA active career list and sixth in the Pac-12. She is 5th in career rebounds (876, ranks 4th on the Pac-12 active career list), which ranks 24th on the NCAA active list. She needs 60 to pass Maylana Martin (935, 1997-2000) for 4th. She is 5th in free throws made (351), which ranks 35th on the NCAA active career charts and 7th in free throws attempted (507), which ranks 42nd on the NCAA active career chart. 

This year UCLA has the distinction of having the first televised conference game when they hosted USC (Dec. 30) and the last televised conference game on March 2, 2014 when they visit Utah (1:00 p.m.). The Bruins will be making a total of 18 television appearances, the most in school history, during the 2013-14 regular season.

UCLA was selected to finish fifth in both the Pac-12 conference’s preseason coaches and media polls. Stanford was picked to finish first, followed by California, Colorado and Washington. After the Bruins, USC was selected to finish sixth, followed by Utah and Oregon State.

The Bruins can boast of having one of the toughest schedules in the country as four of its nonconference games were against teams ranked in the top 12 (at #12/17 Nebraska, vs. #12/14 North Carolina, vs. #10/13 Oklahoma and at #4/5 Notre Dame). The Bruins’ nonconference strength of schedule ranked No. 3 in the country (tops in the Pac-12) and helped the Bruins to a No. 26 overall ranking in the RPI. Ten of the Bruins’ 12 nonconference opponents have a winning record and UCLA’s nonconference opponents are a combined 184-91 for a .669 winning percentage (Nebraska 17-5; Pepperdine 5-18; North Carolina 18-6; Oklahoma 15-9; James Madison 19-4; Grand Canyon 16-7; NC State 21-3; Notre Dame 23-0; San Diego State 8-12; Minnesota 15-9; Auburn 13-10 and Cal Poly 14-8).

Three Bruin signees, Recee’ Caldwell, Jordin Canada and Lajahna Drummer, were named to the 12-woman roster to represent the West in the 13th edition of the McDonald’s High School All-American Game. The three give UCLA the most players in the 2014 game and are the most to play in one game in school history. The three players are part of the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class for the Bruins which consists of Canada (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward HS), Caldwell (San Antonio, Texas/FEAST), Drummer (Inglewood, Calif./Long Beach Poly), Kelli Hayes (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty HS) and Monique Billings (Corona, Calif./Santiago HS). The trio increases UCLA’s all-time roster in the McDonald’s All-American Game to 10 Bruins since its inception in 2002. Other Bruin alumni to play in the game are Nikki Blue (2002), Noelle Quinn (2003), Lindsey Pluimer (2004), Jasmine Dixon (2008), Alyssia Brewer (2008), Markel Walker (2009) and Nirra Fields (2012).

UCLA ranks in the Top 100 in the country (out of 343 D-I teams) in four statistical categories, coming in at No. 39 in turnovers per game (13.8), No. 65 in blocks per game (4.1), No. 58 in turnover margin (2.90) and No. 91 in personal fouls per game (17.8). Two players rank in the Top 100 in the country as senior forward Atonye Nyingifa ranks No. 28 in double-doubles with 12 on the year (ranks third in the Pac-12), No. 46 in total points (461), No. 67 in steals per game (2.3 spg), No. 72 in points per game (18.4 ppg) and No. 84 in rebounds per game (8.9 rpg). Sophomore guard Nirra Fields ranks No. 92 in total points (415).

Head Coach Cori Close enters her third year with the Bruins after guiding UCLA to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year and a Pac-12 Tournament runner-up finish. She sports an overall record of 51-38 (.573).