UCLA ended their non-conference play on a high note. They defeated North Carolina A&T with a convincing score of 83-42. Tonight they start conference play and look to begin their campaign for the Pac-12 title.
The Bruins only trailed once throughout the game. In the early minutes of the first quarter they trailed 2-3. They regained the lead shortly after and maintained their lead the rest of the game. With the lead they had at the end of the first quarter, they have now outscored their opponents 220-131. Even after fighting hard to catch up, North Carolina was not able to score more than 16 points in a quarter. The Bruins did well to keep them off the board most of the game. UCLA blew out North Carolina by 41 points to end the night with an 83-42 victory.
Now, the challenge starts. Conference play begins tonight with two home games before hitting the road. Their first opponent is Utah. The Utah Utes have yet to suffer a loss all season. They have a respectable record of 11-0. UCLA looks to hand them their first loss. The last time the two met, UCLA came out on top with the win by six points. They also hold the overall record defeating Utah 10-3. Taking the past into account, UCLA should have no problem opening conference play with a win. But Utah has not suffered a loss all season and will not be easily taken down. They have one of the best defenses in the nation in block shots and holding from the 3-point arc. They are ranked 12th nationally and first in the league in block shots swatting 6.5 shots per contest. They are sixth in the nation and second in the Pac-12 holding opponents at the 3-point line. UCLA will have their work cut out for them against the Utah defense.
UCLA has a lot of pressure on their shoulders. Most expect them to win the regular season Pac-12 title and they were even voted to win the title by the Conference before the season began. Expectations are high for the team, as they should be since they have a lot of talent on their roster to be able to win the regular season title and make it far in the postseason. The battle for the Pac-12 title starts with Utah and a regular season ending without a title would be disappointing.
No. 10 UCLA Women’s basketball (9-2,0-0)
Opponent: Utah (11-0,0-0)
When: Friday, December 30, 2016, 7 PM PT,
Where: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
Stream: Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now App
Live Stats: UCLA Bruins StatBroadcast