Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N
UCLA went on the road for the last time this season, visting the Oregon schools. The first stop tonight was against an OSU team that is in last place in the conference, and shouldn't give UCLA too much of any trouble if we stayed focused. Well, UCLA was focused and really never was in danger at any point in time. UCLA started the game out with an 11-8 lead, thanks to 8 points by Jasmine Dixon. With the score at 16-10 UCLA with 12 and a half minutes left in the first half, UCLA put the game out of reach with a 10-0 run over the next 3 minutes.
UCLA has a habit of holding teams scoreless or nearly scoreless for long stretches, and this game was no exception as OSU scored only one basket in over 10 minutes, leading to UCLA going into halftime with a 43-21 lead. For the first half, UCLA shot 58% to 32% for OSU, and forced 14 turnovers. The second half saw UCLA go up by as much as 32 points, before taking their foot off the gas, and even got to get Allison Taka into the game. OSU did shoot over 50% in the second half, and the final score was 74-53.
UCLA had 2 scorers in double digits, and they come as no surprise. Markel Walker lead with 19 points, and Jasmin Dixon added 17 points, which is even more impressive in that in came in just 16 minutes of game time since she was in foul trouble the entire game. UCLA's depth is actually so strong that no player had to play more than 25 minutes on the game, which was Rebekah Gardner, who didn't even start the game.
The box score was pretty friendly to the Bruins. Really the only areas of concern were 50% freethrow shooting, and the defense coasting a little bit in the second half with such a large lead. UCLA outrebounded OSU 30-28, and shot 55% for the game compared to 43%. After committing an atrocious 36 turnovers against WSU, UCLA did a better job taking care of the ball, committing only 15 turnovers against 22 assists, while forcing 26 beaver turnovers thanks to 18 steals. Nikki Caldwell was quoted in the daily bruin today when discussing the need to take care of the ball better by saying
I told the team today, ‘You’ve got to take pride in this basketball. This basketball affords you a scholarship, it affords you to be able to travel ... so don’t just throw it away.’
Rounding out the box score, UCLA dominated the paint 52-18, fast break points 16-2, and bench points 24-10.
With the win today, UCLA improves to 19-7 (12-3), UCLA now finishes their last road game at Oregon, who lost a 87-84 shootout to USC tonight. Oregon remains a dangerous offensive and weak defensive team. Saturday's game is set to tip off at 2pm, and will be televised by FSN, so maybe we can get concurrent gameday threads or combine them into one. The buzz around UCLA is that while they are projected right now as an 8 seed, if they can win out the season and make it to the pac-10 tournament championship round, a 6 seed wouldn't be out of the question, which would set the team up nicely for a very manageable 2nd round game, as i'm sure no high seed wants to face this UCLA team (just ask Stanford and Tennessee).