Saturday, August 24

UCLA women’s basketball falls to USC, 70-63

One day after the UCLA men’s basketball team fell to the crosstown rival Trojans in Pauley Pavilion, the UCLA women’s team suffered a similar fate against USC, losing 70-63 to the Ladies of Troy at the Galen Center.

With Sunday’s loss, after beginning the Pac-10 season 3-0, the Bruins now fall to 3-2 in conference, having lost their last two Pac-10 matchups. In addition, the loss to the Trojans adds to the list of close losses for UCLA so far on the season. The Bruins’ last three defeats have come by a combined 12 points.

But UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell isn’t so much worried about the Bruins’ ability to win the close game but rather their will to win the close game.

“I’m really worried more so about the mentality of this team. I think it starts there,” Caldwell said.

While UCLA won the battle on the boards and shot a better percentage from the field, the game’s largest discrepancy came at the foul line, where the Bruins only converted nine of 20 free throws. The Trojans shot 24-27 at the line.

“We’re not doing those little fundamental things that allow great teams to win,” senior guard Erica Tukiainen said after Sunday’s loss. “We’re not boxing out, we have too many turnovers, and we’re not making our free throws and layups.”

Tukiainen led the Bruins with 14 points, followed by junior guard Darxia Morris, who dropped in 13. Guards Ashley Corral and Briana Gilbreath led the Trojans with 24 and 19 points, respectively.

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