UCLA weekend recap: Women’s basketball vying for Sweet 16 spot at home

UCLA guard Jordin Canada goes to the basket past Boise State forward Shalen Shaw during the second half of a first-round game in the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Los Angeles. UCLA won 83-56. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

Jordin Canada witnessed Texas A&M pull off the biggest comeback in NCAA Tournament history. The UCLA point guard is now on high alert heading into her team’s second-round matchup with the fifth-seeded Aggies on Monday at 7 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion.

“For us, we have to know that they’re not just going to give up,” Canada told reporters Sunday. “We have to keep punching and keep fighting for 40 minutes.”

The Aggies pulled off a 21-point comeback in in less than nine minutes in the first round to take down No. 12 Penn 63-61. No. 4 UCLA, meanwhile, cruised in the first round behind Canada’s school-recording-tying 16 assists in a 83-56 win over No. 13 Boise State.

UCLA is trying to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year. The Bruins have never made Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons.

Elsewhere in UCLA athletics: 

  • After winning the Pac-12 title last year, gymnastics finished in a third-place tie in the conference championship meet this season. The Bruins tied with Washington with a score of 197.100, which was behind Utah’s meet-winning 197.925 and Oregon State’s 197.400. UCLA faltered on vault and bars, but scored a season-high 49.575 on beam. Freshman Kyla Ross scored a perfect 10.0 on beam, her fourth perfect score of the year. She was also voted the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year by the coaches, while senior Peng-Peng Lee earned the Pac-12 Specialist of the Year.
  • Baseball avoided a home sweep to open Pac-12 play as the Bruins (7-11, 1-2 Pac-12) notched an extra-innings 8-7 victory over No. 12 Arizona on Sunday. UCLA rallied from down 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth and won on a wild pitch in the 10th inning that allowed Jake Hirabayashi to score. UCLA lost 19-4 and 4-3 in a Saturday doubleheader that sealed the series for the Wildcats.
  • After a successful nonconference season, softball got a rocky reintroduction to the Pac-12, as the Bruins were swept by No. 20 Utah in a three-game home series to start the conference schedule. UCLA (21-8, 0-3 Pac-12) scored only three runs over the weekend, losing 2-1 on Friday, 7-2 on Saturday and 4-0 on Sunday.
  • Men’s tennis came back in singles to beat Duke 4-3 at home on Thursday. The Bruins (10-4) lost the doubles point, but reeled off four quick singles wins to secure their seventh straight home win this year.
  • Men’s volleyball won its fourth and fifth consecutive matches, beating Sacred Heart in three sets on Friday, then taking down Concordia University, Irvine in five sets on Saturday. UCLA (15-7) returns to MPSF play Wednesday at USC.
  • Beach volleyball dominated at the Monterey Invitational, sweeping five matches in two days. The Bruins beat Portland, San Jose State, San Francisco, Grand Canyon and Saint Mary’s all without dropping a single point, winning each match 5-0.
  • A second-half surge lifted women’s water polo to a 10-4 win over No. 4 Cal on Saturday at home. The Bruins (13-1) outscored Cal 7-2 in the second half as Rachel Fattal notched four goals to move her into third place on the school’s all-time scoring list (202 goals).
  • Women’s tennis notched a road win over No. 35 Oregon on Friday as Alaina Miller won the clinching point in UCLA’s 4-1 victory.
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