The UCLA women’s basketball team’s reward for two dominating home wins to open the NCAA Tournament? A cross-country trip to face No. 1 Connecticut.
The Bruins completed a perfect home schedule at Pauley Pavilion on Monday, stretching their home unbeaten streak to 29 games with an second-round 75-43 drubbing over Texas A&M. UCLA (25-8) will face UConn on Saturday in the Sweet 16 in Bridgeport, Conn.
Kari Korver scorched the fifth-seeded Aggies (22-11) with 21 points on 7-for-10 shooting from 3-point range. The senior spent the majority of the fourth quarter on the bench while the Bruins cruised to the school’s largest margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game, but Korver subbed back in late for one final hurrah in front of the UCLA faithful.
“It’s been really cool to play here at UCLA for five years,” Korver told reporters after the game. “And just the support from the fans, support from my family. It’s just really cool and I appreciate what Coach (Cori Close) did.”
Jordin Canada had 12 points and 11 assists, while Kennedy Burke notched a career-high nine assists to go with nine points. Monique Billings had 12 points, two blocks and three steals.
UCLA will make back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances for the first time in school history. Although they’re facing UConn and its 109-game winning streak, the Bruins are focused on themselves.
“They obviously have our respect, but my team has my respect,” Close said of the Huskies. “I need to lead them the same way that we’ve done it all year long. And that focus is on how do we need to grow, how do we play to our best given the opponent we have next. We’re going to play in a Sweet 16; we’re not just going to play UConn.”