Bumped. UCLA has it's home opener against UCSB tonight. GO BRUINS. -N
UCLA women's basketball officially got underway on the road on Friday night at San Diego State, a sweet 16 team from last season. As the game was on the road and i was unable to see it for myself, this will be a briefer recap with no pictures from B D, unfortunately.
UCLA stuck with a starting lineup for Jasmin Dixon, Christina Nzekwe, Doreena Campbell, Darxia Morris, and Rebekah Gardner, though Atoneye Nyingifa and Markel Walker would play significantly more minutes off the bench than Gardner or Nzekwe. UCLA struggled in the first half, shooting 32% (11-34) though held SDSU to 29% (9-31). However, UCLA found themselves down at half 32-24 because they were losing the battle at the free throw line, going 2-6 while SDSU went 11-12.
Things changed for UCLA in the 2nd half. Opening with a 15-3 run in the first 9 minutes, UCLA regained the lead at 39-35. SDSU would keep the game close as the teams traded leads until about 6 minutes left in the game when UCLA started to slowly pull away. UCLA was forcing turnovers with an increased pressure defense, their shooting improved to nearly 46% in the 2nd half, and SDSU never went to the freethrow line. What kept the game as close as it was was the ATROCIOUS freethrow shooting of the Bruins. Though UCLA went 9-19 from the line in the 2nd half preventing them from pulling away from the Aztecs, the defense ensured that that would not matter as SDSU made 7 shots all half, and UCLA eventually prevailed 55-48.
Looking at the box score, Jasmine Dixon led the Bruins with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Doreena Campbell was the only other Bruin with double digits, scoring 12 along with 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Good to see Markel's playing time increase, and she finished with 8 points, 5 rebounds and the team's only block of the night. Team stats followed the normal Bruin M.O. UCLA outrebounded the Aztecs 42-36, forced 19 turnovers compared to committing only 16, got to the line 25 times, and generally performed better in the 2nd half than in the first. Yet with the normal Bruin M.O. comes the normal concerns. An 11-25 performance from the line is pretty dreadful and needs to be improved. UCLA also only attempted 3 3-pointers on 58 shot attempts, making none of them, meaning UCLA is still looking for their first made 3 of the season.
UCLA's (1-0) next game is at Pauley on Sunday at 2pm against UCSB, who from what I know should be a relatively easy opponent for the Bruins. Around the Pac-10 today, USC had maybe the most impressive victory of teh day, upsetting #22 Gonzaga at home 79-73. It pains me to see USC win, especially their womens basketball team that I have a particular dislike for, but a strong(er) USC basketball program may be to UCLA's benefit. Cal came away with the other impressive victory of the day, defeating Rutgers (Jasmin's old team) 66-57.