Women’s Basketball Outlasted By No. 9 UCLA

Women’s Basketball Outlasted By No. 9 UCLA

Los Angeles, Calif.- The Pacific women's basketball team matched No. 9 UCLA in the first half, but the Bruins seized control with a big third quarter for a 82-55 win in the season opener Friday at Pauley Pavilion.

Desire Finnie led the Tigers with 17 points, while GeAnna Luaulu-Summers added 14.  Ameela Li chipped in seven points while Jessica Blakeslee added six.

Pacific led for nearly seven minutes of the first half, trading buckets with the Bruins, who entered the season ranked No. 9 in the both Coaches and AP polls.

But a 32-12 third quarter by UCLA turned a tight ball game into a 27-point win for the Bruins.

Pacific falls to 0-1 on the year, UCLA improves to 1-0.

Finnie opened the scoring with a three-pointer from the corner. Af a three from the Bruins, Finnie finished while being fouled and hit the throw for a 6-4 Pacific lead. Luaulu-Summers added a three-pointer for a 9-6 lead but Kari Korver answered with a three and UCLA took an 11-9 lead on a jumper from Monique Billings. Finnie added a three-pointer to tie at 14-14, but the Bruins added back-to-back lay-ups before Jessica Blakeslee's three pulled the Tigers within 20-19 at the end of the first quarter.

Ameela Li hit a three-pointer from the corner and added a jumper for a 24-21 Pacific lead, and Finnie finished inside, and then off a turnover Finnie added a lay-up for a 28-23 lead with 4:56 to go in the second.  Chelsea Lidy curled off a screen for a lay-in and the Tigers led 30-27. Billings hung and hit in the lane to tie the game at 30-30 with 2:44 left in the half.

UCLA posted back-to-back buckets, and closed the half with an 11-2 run to surge in front, 38-32 at the half.

The Tigers shot 37 percent (10-of-27) from the field, while holding UCLA to 33 percent (14-of-43), but the Tigers committed 13 turnovers to the Bruins seven, and UCLA held a 12-6 points off turnover advantage, the exact margin on the scoreboard at halftime.

UCLA opened the second half with a put-back, before a Najah Queenland finished an and-one. Blakeslee struck from the corner for another three as the Tigers pulled within 42-38. But Jordin Canada answered back with a three from the corner for a 49-38 UCLA lead.  

Finnie banked home a jumper from the wing, but the Bruins stretched the run to 13-2 for a 55-40 advantage with 4:58 to go in the third.  Li drove and finished, but Paulina Hersler hit a step-back three for the Bruins.

The Bruins went to the line 15 times to the Tigers three free throw attempt, using a 32-12 run in the third quarter to seize control. UCLA connected on 10-of-15 from the field in the quarter as the Bruins carried a 70-44 lead into the fourth.

Finnie posted a jumper and Luaulu-Summers added a three-pointer in the fourth, but the third quarter damage by UCLA was plenty enough for the Bruins to hold take the opening game of the season, 82-55.

The Bruins out-rebounded Pacific, 60-32, and held a 36-6 advantage in points in the paint. UCLA forced 26 turnovers, turning them into 25 points.

Pacific will return home to face UC Merced on Sunday at 2 p.m.