Jordin Canada sets UCLA assists record in win over Colorado

Senior Jordin Canada set the UCLA record for career assists while leading No. 14 UCLA to a 93-55 win over Colorado in Boulder on Sunday as the point guard tallied 10 points and 11 assists.

Her 700 assists surpassed former Bruin Erica Gomez‘s (corrected) record of 697, and Canada is the first player in Pac-12 women’s basketball history to record 1,800 career points and 700 assists.

The Bruins (13-4, 4-2 Pac-12) jumped out to a 16-0 lead against the Buffaloes and never looked back as the lead ballooned to as many as 41. Japreece Dean had a career-high 21 points with five 3-pointers.

Canada had only one turnover with her double-double as UCLA had six double-digit scorers and 13 steals. The Bruins secured their first road sweep of the Pac-12 season with Friday’s 81-74 win over Utah.

“I think we’re starting to finally believe who we are and that’s defense,” Canada told the Pac-12 Networks after the game. “Our defensive intensity is huge and we showed that these past two games. I thought we were aggressive and I thought we attacked every opportunity that there was to get stops.”

UCLA women’s basketball picked to win Pac-12 in preseason poll

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)

With four starters returning from last year’s Sweet 16 team, the UCLA women’s basketball team was picked to win the Pac-12 in the preseason coaches poll, the conference announced Wednesday.

The Bruins are coming off back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances for the first time in school history. They received 115 points and seven first-place votes to lead the coaches poll.

UCLA was also picked to win the conference last year, but finished fourth.

Senior guard Jordin Canada led the conference in assists (7.12) and steals (2.5) last year. The L.A. native was third in the Pac-12 in scoring with 17.8 points per game. She was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 Defensive Team honors for the second straight year.

Senior forward Monique Billings was named All-Pac-12 and All-Pac-12 Defensive Team after starting all 34 games for the Bruins. He was the second-leading rebounder in the conference with 10.5 boards per game.

Full preseason women’s basketball coaches poll, with number of first-place votes in parentheses:

1. UCLA (7) 115
T2. Oregon (3) 108
T2. Stanford (2) 108
4. Oregon State 85
5 California 83
6. Arizona State 74
7. Washington State 61
8. USC 47
9. Utah 40
10. Colorado 38
11. Arizona 20
12. Washington 13

UConn ends UCLA’s season in Sweet 16

Connecticut’s Napheesa Collier, right, pulls down a defense rebound against UCLA’s Jordin Canada, left, during the first half of a regional semifinal game in the NCAA women’s college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 25, 2017, in Bridgeport, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

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.” Continue reading “UConn ends UCLA’s season in Sweet 16” »

UCLA women face UConn in Sweet 16

UCLA, fresh off a 75-43 dismantling of Texas A&M on Monday, face No. 1 UConn in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship on Saturday in Bridgeport, Conn. (Scott Varley/Staff Photographer)

When she saw that UCLA and shared a regional with No. 1 seed Connecticut, senior Kari Korver was admittedly not excited. That only lasted a few seconds though.

Although the undefeated Huskies seem to be a juggernaut, with its 109-game winning streak and legendary coach, the Bruins aren’t shying away from the challenge.

“There’s nothing you can do about it, it’s out of your control,” Korver said of being in UConn’s regional. “I actually feel like it’s going to be a really fun test, it’s going to be really cool.”

More on UCLA’s Sweet 16 matchup with UConn.

What: Bridgeport Regional Sweet 16
Who: No. 4 UCLA (25-8) vs. No. 1 Connecticut (34-0)
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Conn.
TV/Radio: ESPN/

UCLA women’s basketball advances to Sweet 16

UCLA bench erupts after a Kari Korver 3-pointer in Westwood, CA on Monday, March 20, 2017. UCLA vs Texas A&M in the 2nd round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

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.”

PHOTOS: UCLA demolishes Texas A&M

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.”