A record-setting performance from Jordin Canada wasn’t enough for UCLA to fend off No. 1 Connecticut on Saturday.
UConn’s massive winning streak consumed another victim and grew to 110 as the Huskies took down the Bruins 86-71 in the Sweet 16 in Bridgeport, Conn.
Canada passed Mary Hegarty for the UCLA record for assists in a season, dishing out 11 and bringing her season total to 242. The junior guard recorded her third straight double-double, adding 20 points.
Monique Billings had another double-double for the Bruins (25-9) with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
“Jordin and Monique, they sort of hold the torch,” head coach Cori Close told reporters. “They know that they have to show up every single day, that we are playing around them. They may be the focal point, but you need every single person.”
UCLA raced out to a 9-2 lead, which tied the biggest deficit UConn has faced all year, but the Huskies settled in. The overall No. 1 seed broke off a 15-5 run in the second quarter and lead by 19 with 6:07 left before halftime.
“For a second, we kind of looked defeated,” Canada said. “That’s when they capitalized on their opportunities to score in transition and get offensive rebounds. I think it was just our lack of focus.”
The Bruins went on a 7-0 run in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 12 late in the third quarter and entered the fourth quarter down 10, but couldn’t cut the lead to single digits.
“I really believe we’re knocking at the door of the nation’s elite on a consistent basis, but we haven’t thrown the door down,” Close said. “That’s what you got to do. You got to want it so bad that you’re not knocking on the door, you’re throwing it open, busting through that next level.”