FanPost

UCLA WBBall Season Comes To An End Against Nebraska 83-70

Bumped. GO BRUINS. -N

From NCAA Round 2 UCLA vs. Nebraska

UCLA entered into the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament faced with the tough task of taking on a #1 seed Nebraska that was 31-1.  UCLA would need a nearly flawless and defensively aggressive game to disrupt the Huskers and pull off the upset.  The game started off as a dream for the Bruins.  UCLA jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead thanks to a jumper by Jasmine Dixon, a 3 by Doreena Campbell, and a shot by Markel Walker.  Meanwhile, UCLA's aggressive trapping defense was forcing turnovers and keeping Nebraska out of getting into their offensive sets.  UCLA continued to ride their success to a 15-6 lead, and the Huskers seemed a little surprised while UCLA was surging with momentum.

From NCAA Round 2 UCLA vs. Nebraska

Then, everything changed.  UCLA stopped being able to hit shots, going minutes without scoring.  The refs started to get involved in the game in a very questionable way, putting Nebraska at the line time and again, and getting Markel, Jasmine, and Darxia all into foul trouble.  UCLA could have survived their scoring drought the way their defense had been playing up to that point, but with UCLA's stars forced to take to the bench and the refs not allowed UCLA to play it's defense, things started to unravel. 

A 9-0 run by Nebraska tied the game up, thanks in part to a dumb technical foul on UCLA for having 6 players on the court, as it was clear the team was starting to get a little flustered.  UCLA calmed down and regained a 5 point lead at 23-18.  But Nebraska went on a 17-2 run to take a 10 point lead at 35-25, and it looked like maybe UCLA was just overmatched.  Meanwhile, the foul situation was 9-0 against UCLA before UCLA was first put to the line, and by halftime the fouls were called 12-2 against UCLA, in what was very frustrating how much more Nebraska was allowed to get away  with.  The team did not pack it in, however.  A huge and-1 by Nina earl ended Nebraska's run, and then a basket by Christina Nzekwe sent UCLA into halftime down only 35-30, which considering the freethrow discrepancy (15 vs 3) and how many players had to sit major minutes, it felt like UCLA was still in it.

UCLA came out of the locker room and hit their first 2 shots to cut the game to 1 point at 35-34.  Nebraska then went on a game clinching 16-0 run, thanks to hot 3 point shooting to really put an end to UCLA's chances in the game.  Nebraska held as high as a 19 point lead.  UCLA never stopped fighting, and was able to cut the lead to 10 as Darxia Morris started to hit some 3s, but UCLA never actually threatened Nebraska the rest of the way.  Pictures presented by B D.

When you look at the box score, UCLA made more shots than Nebraska (28 to 25), outrebounded the team 34-28, and had 11 steals due to their aggressive defense.  What sunk the team was Nebraska's hot outside shooting (8-15), and the major freethrow differential, with UCLA going 9-10 and Nebraska going 25-38.  As much as you want to be angry at the refs, UCLA has to continue to work to earn the respect that teams like Stanford and Nebraska seem to get from refs.  In addition, UCLA's offense couldn't afford to go long periods of time without scoring if it wanted to stay competitive, but sadly it is what it is.

From NCAA Round 2 UCLA vs. Nebraska

UCLA had 4 scorers in double digits, with Darxia Morris and Doreena Campbell both having 15, Jasmine Dixon added 13, and Markel Walker finished with 11.  UCLA now has to say goodbye to Erica Tukiainen, Allison Taka, and Moniquee Alexander.  They will surely be missed for everything they have done for this program.  We've already been over all of the amazing accomplishments that Nikki and the team has accomplished this season, but the future looks just as bright.  UCLA returns 4 starters and 8 of their 10 players who played major minutes.  UCLA will get Atonye Ningifa back, who actually was higher rated of a recruit than Jasmine Dixon, as well as a solid recruiting class, that still has the potential to get stronger.  It will be fun to follow this team along next year as it should be a much more experienced team.  Sadly, my time in the band is over, but I will hopefully be able to continue to follow and cover the team next season.  I will do my best to get a post up about the tournament and Minneapolis experience up later tonight/tomorrow.

<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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