FanPost

UCLA WBBall Dominates 2nd Half En Route To 74-54 Victory (Update with pictures)

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

Well, Minneapolis has been fun the last few days, but tonight was the real reason why we are here, as UCLA faced North Carolina State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.  UCLA definitely came out a little nervous, as it was the first NCAA tournament game for anyone on the roster.  UCLA came out aggressive, but seemingly couldn't hit shots in the early going, and turning the ball over a few times as NC State came out with aggressive defense and generating several steals.  NC State held as large as a 9 point lead with 7:30 remaining at 19-10, and then again 25-16 with a little over 3 minutes remaining.  UCLA was falling behind due to foul trouble on multiple starters, and a few questionable charging calls that could have easily been and-1s for the Bruins.

From NCAAWB Round 1

Down 25-16, UCLA closed out the first half on a 10-0 run.  The end of the half particularly ignited the team and the band.  With 36 seconds left, Erica Tukiainen hit a 3 to cut the lead to 1 point, and then a steal by Doreena Campbell in the back court led to her scoring a basket, giving UCLA their first lead of the game.  UCLA then trapped NC State and forced another turnover to get one last shot before halftime, which they missed, but went into half up 26-25.  For the first half, UCLA shot 41% which is surprising considering midway through the half they were around 21%, while the Wolfpack shot 33%.  NC State and the Bruins each had 18 rebounds and 10 turnovers, leading to a close first half.  

From NCAAWB Round 1

The 10-0 run to end the first half gave UCLA all the momentum heading into the second half, and as I mentioned in my game preview, UCLA is a much better 2nd half team than NC State, which proved to be true tonight in a big way. UCLA scored the first 4 points of the half to extend the lead to 5 points.  NC State cut the game to 41-37 midway through the half, before UCLA went on a 16-2 run to blow the game open, at 57-39 with under 8 minutes left.  UCLA became so much more aggressive attacking the rim, drawing  4 and 1s, Erica heating up from 3, and UCLA hitting their free throws.  For the rest of the game, UCLA's lead got as high as 23 before taking out the starters and NC State hitting a few meaningless shots.  Nikki got both Allison Taka and Jackie Shepard into the game, and with under a minute left Allison Taka, a fan favorite for quite a few years now, hit a 3, her first basket of the season, which sent the team and the band into an excited frenzy and a perfect cap for an excellent night.

Photos thanks to B D

It was amazing to watch UCLA just completely take over in the 2nd half, the energy and determination coming on the court, the support from the bench, and the wide smile on Nikki's face after each and-1.  UCLA shot 62% in the 2nd half and dominated the boards 23-8 in the half, and 41-26 for the game.  UCLA had 17 turnovers for the game which must be cleaned up for the game against Nebraska.  Most encouraging though was UCLA's best free throw shooting game of the season, hitting 14 out of 15 attempts. 

4 Bruins finished in double digits on the day.  Of course it would be Jasmine Dixon to lead the team with 17 points and 11 rebounds, with an 8-11 shooting day.  Rebekah Gardner had one of her best games of her career, with an aggressive 13 points  Erica Tukiainen added 12 points with 3-4 shooting behind the arc, and Doreena Campbell had 11 points, and was a huge spark in the 2nd half.

UCLA moves on to play the #1 seed Nebraska, losers of 1 game all season long.  UCLA will need to play the full 40 minutes of the game on Tuesday as they did the 2nd half tonight.  Hopefully Nikki can study the game tape and come up with a good plan to pull off the upset.  Meanwhile, we are off for another 2 days of fun and adventure around Minneapolis and St. Paul, hoping that Tuesday will not be our last game. I also forgot to mention that Kevin Love and Ryan Hollins were at the game

From NCAAWB Round 1

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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