Sophomore Rebekah Gardner leads UCLA basketball to victory over Washington State


Despite turnovers, women's team rallies to overcome Washington State

Sophomore Rebekah Gardner scored a career-high 19 points on Saturday.

Sophomore Rebekah Gardner scored a career-high 19 points on Saturday. Tiffany Cheng


There were times in the first half when Rebekah Gardner didn’t look like she would miss a shot.

The second half would prove otherwise, but for 20 minutes, the sophomore guard lit up the scoreboard for the UCLA women’s basketball team en route to a sloppy, turnover-filled 93-58 win over Washington State.

In a contest that pitted the conference’s second-best team against the second-worst, UCLA (18-7, 11-3) managed to work its way through an astonishing 36 giveaways. The Cougars (7-19, 2-13) didn’t fare much better with holding possession, coughing up 38 turnovers of their own. Despite the stop-and-start nature of the game, UCLA’s offense ended up clicking, easing the Bruins to victory.

“We shot the ball extremely well,” coach Nikki Caldwell said. “Washington State gave us different looks, but I was proud of our team. When we got a chance to go down to the other end and score, we did so.”

It was a physical game from the start, as the officials allowed both teams to mix it up in the early going. Bodies hit the floor, elbows flew, and players collided. In the midst of it all, UCLA managed to slowly but surely pull away from the overmatched opposition.

After the Cougars opened with five straight buckets, the Bruin defense clamped down, and the team worked its way back into the game on the back of a hot-shooting Gardner.

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