Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
UCLA had their home opener today against a UCSB team that shouldn't really challenge the Bruins. UCLA opened up the game with the same starting line up they have used in their last two games, though once again Markel Walker ended up playing more minutes than Christina Nzekwe. In the first half, UCLA's defense was in it's normal form, forcing turnovers, and taking away the paint forcing UCSB to rely on the outside shot, which wasn't working for them as they shot 20% (2-10) from outside. Despite a strong defensive performance, UCLA wasn't able to capitalize and build a big lead as UCLA struggled to get into a groove offensively, missing shots and also turning the ball over. UCSB actually outshot the Bruins in the first half 39% to 38%. Still, the Bruins built up as high as an 11 point lead before going into the locker room with a 31-21 halftime lead.
To start the second half, UCSB scored first to make the score 31-24, but then UCLA blew open the game with a 24-2 run to go up 55-26 at the 12:40 mark, capped off with UCLA's first made 3-pointer of the season by Doreena Campbell, which brought a loud applause from the fans who had been waiting for someone on team to break the streak. With a 29 point lead, Nikki removed our starters and the game was put in the hands of the bench, who received much more playing time than they had in a close match against SDSU on friday night. With our bench in, UCSB hit a few late 3s and went on a run to cut the lead to 64-52 ( a 26-9 run) before the final score of 66-52. While it is good that the bench got so much playing time and that Nikki wanted them to get the experience of understanding their role of allowing the starters to be out of a game without the status of the game being in jeopardy, allowing a 29 point lead to shrink to 12 probably will not make Nikki too happy, and turned what could have been a dominating victory into a solid, but not dominating victory.
What was nice to see tonight was some balance in scoring. 4 Bruins finished in double digits, with Jasmine Dixon and Markel Walker tieing at 12 apiece, and Darxia Morris and Atonye Nyingifa at 10 apiece. Atonye was the leading rebounder with 7, which is a return to her freshman form. Rebekah Gardner (4-13) and Doreena Campbell (2-8) had difficult shooting nights, but Jasmine, Darxia, Nina, Atonye, and Markel all shot 50% or higher. While the freshman Post, Corinne Costa, will probably be an offensive project this year, she played solid defense in the paint and had all 3 of the team's blocks today.
|From 20101114_WBB vs UCSB|
While UCLA finally broke their 3-point curse, their shooting from outside was still a frigid 1-8. Improved however was the freethrow shooting, going 9-13 on the night and Jasmin shooting a much improved 4-5 from the line. UCLA outrebounded UCSB 39-32, and did a good job taking care of the ball, especially in the 2nd half, committing only 14 turnovers while forcing 23 from UCSB. UCLA continues to dominate the paint on both sides of the ball, outscoring the Gauchos 34-12 in the paint. During the post game interview, while Nikki was disappointed with the bench's ability to maintain the large lead, she was very pleased at the team play and communication, specifically pointing out the team had 22 assists on 28 made baskets. Below are more pictures provided by B D.
UCLA improves to 2-0 on the season, and now has their true test Thursday on the road at #12 Notre Dame, with a 4pm tip off. Unfortunately, despite the game being between two top 15 teams, the game will not be televised, but this game will surely reveal much more about this team. Also a game of note is tuesday at 3pm PST on ESPN2 #1 UCONN will be taking on #2 Baylor. For those of you who don't know, UCONN is getting very close to breaking Coach's all time winning streak, as UCONN is at 79 games at the moment i believe, and Baylor is probably their last major test before breaking that mark. So for those of you looking for a non-UCLA womens game to watch, that would be it.