Tonight, 7 p.m.
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The No. 10 Bruins continue their three-game home stand against the Beavers, who are still seeking their first conference win.
Up-and-unders, mid-range jumpers, power moves, hook shots on the block.
Junior forward Jasmine Dixon had her full arsenal on display against the Women of Troy on Saturday, pouring in 20 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
It was perhaps the Bruin women’s basketball team’s most dominant victory thus far, and undeniably their most complete effort.
With a dominant showing on the boards and on defense, the team’s Saturday performance was perhaps how coach Nikki Caldwell envisioned the team playing upon taking the job two years ago.
“I thought we had good preparation leading up to the game,” said Caldwell. “I thought that the team’s intensity leading up to the game was there, but what I felt really was the turning point was Jasmine Dixon taking leadership this time. I thought that in practice she stepped up and stepped up in the game.”
It was one thing to dominate USC on the interior, but No. 10 UCLA (13-1, 3-0 Pac-10) may find it a bit more difficult against Oregon State (7-8, 0-4) today.
A premier shot-blocker like the Beavers’ 6-foot-2-inch senior forward El Sara Greer, who is leading the Pac-10 in blocks with 3.2 per contest, will likely affect the way the Bruins execute on offense with her length and timing.
“It’s just another game, but I’m focusing more this week on pump faking and getting the other player up in the air instead of just going up,” Dixon said. “(Greer) is a shot-blocker, so we need to focus on that.”
Much like the defense-minded Bruins, the Beavers allow just 53.4 points a game coming into today, compared to 53.6 allowed by UCLA.
The match-up seems like a defensive battle, but Oregon State wages two young, quick-launching guards in freshman Alyssa Martin and redshirt sophomore Sage Indendi, who have combined to take 191 three-point shots in just 15 games.
“For the most part, they play four out, one in,” Bruin senior guard Doreena Campbell said. “Their main game is the three-pointer, and they live and die by the three. So we have to extend our defense and probably put the back of our (feet) on the three-point line and push them back even further.”
Earlier this season, UCLA matched up against one of the nation’s top shot-blockers in Saint Mary’s Louella Tomlinson. And though the Bruins were able to pull away with a double-digit victory, Tomlinson swatted eight shots while altering many others in the Dec. 12 game.
“For us, we do the work before the ball gets there,” Caldwell said. “We have to be able to reverse out and make (Greer) a perimeter defender as opposed to just defending sometime with the back to the basket. We have to use both sides of the rim, whether it’s to drive from the left side to the right or vice versa.”
While the rugged Beavers pose an offensive challenge, the Oregon Ducks (11-4, 2-2) and the conference’s highest-scoring offense will attempt to break down the Bruins’ defense come Saturday.
With reports from Steve Breazeale, Bruin Sports reporter.