Culver City Observer -

By Steve Finley
Sports Reporter 

Lady Bruins Are The Last Team Standing


March 22, 2018

George Laase

Monique Billings of UCLA makes a reverse lay up for two of her team-high 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds, three blocks and three steals as the Bruins beat American University 71-60 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last Saturday in Westwood. The Bruins play Texas in the NCAA Regional's on Friday at 6 p.m.

The UCLA women's basketball team is the last team from Southern California to survive the madness in March. Their two wins last Saturday and Monday have put them in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA women's tournament for the third straight year. Next up for the 26-7 Bruins is a date with 28-6 Texas in the Kansas City Regional at 6 p.m. on Friday.

To reach the regionals the Bruins had to win two games at home. Last Saturday they beat American University 71-60 and Monday they destroyed Creighton 86-64. Once again the Bruins were led by their two All-Americans, guard Jordin Canada and forward/center Monique Billings.

Billings scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against American and Canada scored 21 points, dished out eight assists, grabbed six rebounds and recorded five steals against Creighton. The two seniors have led the Bruins past two years and this year they hope to advance to the NCAA final.

George Laase

UCLA's Kennedy Burke scored 15 points in UCLA first round win over America University. Burke is one of the Bruins that will need to step and play at a high level if the Bruins expect to reach the NCAA final.

That final will probably be a rematch of their game against Connecticut last November. In that game on UCLA's home court UConn routed the Bruins 78-60. To reach the final the Bruins have to beat Texas and probably Baylor, another team they played last November. The Bruins handed the 31-1 Baylor team their only loss of the season.

The Bruins play an up tempo game that puts pressure on the other teams' defense. "UCLA is an unbelievable team," said American's head coach Megan Gebbia after the game on Saturday. "We could see on film how fast they were."

UCLA's head coach Cori Close is just happy to live to play another game. "At this point in the year we are just excited about getting one more opportunity to play. This is what it's all about."

Close also realizes to reach the final Billings and Canada will need help. "Other people are going to have to step up," said Close. "We need to make more passes that will help to get other players open. It's very important that other players step up."

The game against Texas will be televised on ESPN2.


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