WESTWOOD (News4usonline) – The UCLA women’s basketball team is still undefeated after recording a 72-60 win against Jackson State at Pauley Pavilion. However, the Bruins had to work for this one. The Tigers forced UCLA into committing 16 turnovers and kept UCLA in check after the first quarter, holding the Bruins to under 20 points over the course of the last three periods.
Shooting-wise, it was a cold afternoon for both teams. Jackson State made just 35 percent of their attempts from the field. UCLA, paced by Lina Sontag’s 22 points, fared a tad better, shooting the ball at a 39 percent clip from the field.
The Bruins were able to separate themselves from the Tigers basically by getting more fastbreak points (15-4) than the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) representative. The Bruins can also thank their hot shooting in the first quarter that was able to propel over the Tigers.
The first quarter actually proved to be the catalyst for the Bruins in their seventh win (7-0) of the season. UCLA scored 27 points in the opening period and opened up an early double-digit lead against the Tigers and looked the part of being on their way to an easy rout.
Jackson State shut down that notion by fiercely coming back to within six points (27-21) by the time the first quarter ended. UCLA shot the ball at a 61 percent rate in the first quarter, while Jackson State made 55 percent in the opening stanza. Both teams cooled down considerably the rest of the way.
That’s because both teams played rugged defense. UCLA’s shooting percentage after the first quarter went from dismal to porus (35 percent in the second quarter), (33 percent in the third quarter), and (23 points in the fourth quarter).
If the Bruins are to stay in the contest against No. 1 South Carolina when these two teams collide in a game played on Nov. 29, they’re going to have to improve on those numbers.
Statistically, Jackson State appeared to have had the edge against UCLA. The Tigers dominated the paint, outscoring the Bruins 36-26. Jackson State also recorded more points (19-14) off of turnovers than the Bruins.The saving grace for the Bruins was that Jackson State shot ineffectively from the 3-point line, connecting on one out of 10 attempts from behind the arc.
This was a game of runs. UCLA caught fire early as the Bruins got out to their big lead in the first quarter. But then the Tigers began to buckle down defensively. With their defense clicking and making things miserable for the Bruins, the Tigers clawed their way back into the ballgame, coming within one point of UCLA in the second period.
Jackson State had several opportunities to take the lead. Turnovers, several missed field goals, and the defense of UCLA defense denied the Tigers that opportunity. With Jackson State unable to capitalize on their opportunities, UCLA was able to regroup and then extended its lead back into an insurmountable hole for the Tigers to overcome.
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.