Third-seeded UCLA, playing before a hostile crowd on Gonzaga's home court, leads 38-35 at halftime of Monday night's second-round game in the NCAA tournament at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Forward Jasmine Dixon and guard Darxia Morris each scored nine points for the Bruins, who slowed down the 11th-seeded Bulldogs with a full-court press that forced Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot to work nearly every possession. UCLA's match-up zone limited the Bulldogs to one shot on most possessions.
Forward Atonye Nyingifascored six points and grabbed seven rebounds as UCLA outrebounded the Bulldogs, 21-14. The Bruins got solid contributions off the bench from guard Mariah Williams, who harassed Vandersloot, and Rebekah Gardner, who scored six points.
Vandersloot entered the game 10 points shy of becoming the first player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points and hand out 1,000 assists.
The senior dished out seven assists in the first 13 minutes, but she did not score until she made one of two free throws with 6:32 remaining in half. She had eight points, eight assists and six turnovers at the break.
Vandersloot had some outstanding no-look passes but her best play might have been when she dove for a loose ball and began to slide out of bounds. Instead of accepting the almost certain traveling violation she called timeout and Gonzaga kept possession.
Forward Kayla Standish scored 12 points for Gonzaga.
More later at latimes.com/sports.
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--Gary Klein, reporting from Spokane, Wash.
Photo: Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Janelle Bekkering (left) defends off UCLA Bruins guard Rebekah Gardner (right) during the second round of the 2011 NCAA women's basketball tournament at McCarthey Athletic Center. Credit: James Snook / US Presswire