UCLA women’s basketball reaches first Sweet 16 since 1999

For the first time since 1999, the UCLA women’s basketball team is heading to the Sweet 16.

The third-seeded Bruins earned themselves a spot on Monday night, holding off a resilient South Florida team for a 72-67 win at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA never trailed, but saw a 16-point lead dwindle to as little as one.

They will take the court again on March 26 against No. 2-seeded Texas.

“This is a huge next step for our program,” said Cori Close, the Bruins’ fifth-year coach.

» Sweet 16 run marks best year of Cori Close’s UCLA tenure

USF senior Courtney Williams, the nation’s 10th-leading scorer, led the game with 29 points — but did so by taking 32 shots. She missed her first eight shots of the night, pestered by defense from UCLA’s Nirra Fields, as well as forward Monique Billings.

Sophomore point guard Jordin Canada kept UCLA ahead late, shaking off a 1-for-11 start to score 17 points in the final quarter. She sank six free throws in the final 25 seconds.

The Bruins are one of four Pac-12 teams to make the Sweet 16, joining Oregon State, Stanford and Washington.

“You really gain credibility when you go do it on the biggest stage, the NCAA Tournament,” Close said. “The Pac-12 has sort of put its money where its mouth is.”

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

UCLA women’s hoops ready to open NCAA tourney vs. Hawaii

» Back in the NCAA Tournament, UCLA women’s basketball is looking to make it past the second round for the first time since 1999. First up is No. 14-seed Hawaii at 3:30 p.m.
» UCLA forward Kacy Swain has found success with the third-seeded Bruins despite dealing with Type 1 diabetes.

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

UCLA basketball teams announce signing classes

UCLA has officially signed five-star forward Kevon Looney, one of the gems of the 2014 class.

“Kevon is one of the best players in the country in this class,” coach Steve Alford said in a statement. “He is extremely skilled and versatile. Most importantly, he’s a winner.”

The Bruins also inked Hungarian native Gyorgy Goloman, a little-known forward also sought by Davidson, Richmond and New Mexico. Alford’s statement called him “one of the best passing big men we have seen in years.”

Looney sent his national letter of intent to UCLA this morning, while Goloman did the same yesterday.

UCLA women’s basketball also signed its first-ever No. 1 recruiting class Continue reading

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

Jim Mora, Brett Hundley appear in UCLA’s ‘You Can Play’ video

Of the more than 10,000 men playing major college football, none have yet come out as gay. UCLA football coach Jim Mora did his part to try and pave the way, appearing in the school’s “You Can Play” video this week.

Mora shows up at 0:20, while star quarterback Brett Hundley and defensive back Librado Barocio join in at 1:35. Women’s gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field and women’s basketball coach Cori Close open the video, which also features athletes from numerous other UCLA teams. Continue reading

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

UCLA women earn No. 3 NCAA seed

The UCLA women’s basketball team earned a No. 3 seed Monday afternoon in the Oklahoma City Region, and will open the NCAA tournament against No. 14 Stetson on Saturday at 10:40 a.m. It’s tied for the highest seed in program history, and has the Bruins — who missed March Madness last year — opening competition with a neutral site in Columbus, Ohio.

UCLA (25-7) should handle the Hatters (24-8) easily, and could meet six-seed Oklahoma after that. In November, the still-unranked Bruins pulled off an 86-80 road upset of the Sooners — then ranked No. 11 in the country. Guard Thea Lemberger, who sparked UCLA with 18 points in that game, is cleared to play after injuring her elbow over two weeks ago.

Full story here, as well as some photos from the Pavilion Club watch party.

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page