#9 UCLA headed up to Oregon this week to face off against two of the bottom half teams in the conference. While Oregon has been reeling with a string of losses, they still remain the #1 scoring team in conference averaging about 80 points per game. However, Oregon would be without pac-10 leading scorer Nia Jackson who averages 17 points a game. Last year it took a heroic 31 point, 20 rebound performance from Jasmine Dixon to overcome a 16 point 2nd half deficit, but with Jackson out of the game, UCLA needed no heroics as they dominated the Ducks this time around. With the game not being televised and no play by play available, this recap will be pretty short.
UCLA fell behind early 11-6 in the opening minutes, but after that UCLA blew the ducks out of the water. An 18-2 run by the Bruins gave the team a 24-13 lead and UCLA cruised from there with their lead continually growing. Oregon managed to get as close as 9 points with 6 minutes remaining in the half, but UCLA closed out the half on a 12-0 run to take a 44-23 lead into the locker room. UCLA shot 43% for the half to 26% for the ducks, and went 11-13 from the line in the half to Oregon attempting just 1 free throw.
In the second half UCLA's shooting cooled off a bit but the defense stayed just as strong. UCLA shot just 34% in the half though Oregon shot an even worse 24% while both teams went 11-15 from the line in the half. With UCLA's defense not letting up, the UCLA lead got up as high as 29 at 73-44 holding Oregon to one basket in the final 10 minutes before closing out to a 75-48 victory.
Since what we mostly have to go by is the box score, it looks like a statistically strong game for the Bruins. The stat that just jumps right out at you is how UCLA dominated the boards 61-29 with 22 offensive rebounds. Those numbers are staggering and i've never seen such a rebounding disparity being so massive. This allowed UCLA to get 23 second chance points, as well as outscore the Ducks in the paint 28-14. UCLA forced 15 turnovers, almost all on steals with 12 steals on the night. Oregon shot a poor 6-29 from behind the arc, though UCLA, never too successful from deep range, was 1 for 9.
Leading the Bruins today was Rebekah Gardner, who came off the bench to score 18 points, a season high, along with a career high 8 rebounds. A great game for Rebekah who averages about 7 points a game, her 18 points equals her total from the last 4 games. Atonye Nyingifa had 12 points as the other bruin in double digits and 8 rebounds, all in the first half. Darxia Morris and Markel Walker both had 9 points, though Markel Walker chipped in a team high 13 rebounds, while Darxia had a team high 6 assists. Funny that UCLA had such a dominating victory and Jasmine Dixon was tied for the 5th leading scorer, shows the balance that this team can have in scoring. For the Ducks, not a single player scored in double digits for the conference's highest scoring offense, held to their lowest output in the Paul Westhead era.
With the victory, UCLA improves to 20-2, 10-1 and remains 4 games ahead of the 3rd place team in conference. Oregon Falls to 12-11, 3-9. UCLA takes on conference cellar dweller Oregon St. on Saturday before returning home next week to take on the bay area schools and the big showdown with Stanford.