4:00 PM ET, January 14, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- The UCLA women's basketball team loves to play offense. Defense is a whole different story.UCLA played impressively on offense and sporadically on defense Saturday afternoon, but it was enough to lift the Bruins to a 73-63 win over Washington State."I have a very offensive-minded team," UCLA coach Kathy Olivier said. "They light up when they make that pass, and they light up when they score."Noelle Quinn led the Bruins (10-7, 5-3 Pac-10) with 23 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Lisa Willis added 12 points, five assists and three steals. Lindsey Pluimer had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Amanda Livingston scored 11 points.Freshman Amanda DuRocher led the Cougars (6-10, 0-7) with a career-high 20 points. Kate Benz added 10 points and nine rebounds, and Crystal Blue had 10 points and six of Washington State's 23 offensive rebounds.The Cougars have lost eight straight overall, 10 straight to UCLA and 11 straight in the Pac-10. Despite having injured starters Charmaine Jones and Adriane Ferguson out of the lineup, the Cougars trailed the Bruins only 34-31 at the half and 69-63 in the final minute."Their talent is 10 times better than us," WSU coach Sherri Murrell said. "It's the first time (this season) I felt we battled the whole, entire game.""Washington State plays very hard," Olivier said. "They don't take a lot of breaks."You can tell they have the personality of their coach. Sherri's feisty. She's a very aggressive woman."UCLA often lacked intensity on defense, but freshman reserve Tierra Henderson sparked some key defensive spurts in the second half."That's pretty much what she's here for," said Willis, who also picked up her defensive play in the final half. "She does a great job on the defensive end.""She's been a defensive spark for us in a few games," Olivier said. "She's a freshman, she still needs to learn things. But she brings good energy, and the team kind of follows her lead."DuRocher scored 15 points in the first half for WSU, and Quinn answered with 15 in the second half for UCLA. After Blue's 18-foot jumper pulled WSU within six with 44 seconds left, Quinn set up Pluimer for a layin, grabbed a rebound at the other end, drew a foul and sank two free throws to end the scoring with 12 seconds left."Noelle Quinn was a huge factor in the second half," Olivier said. "She really dominated on the boards. That's really not her game, but she took charge. She knew that's what the team needed to win."DuRocher, a 3-point shooting specialist, has been playing with a broken bone in her right (shooting) wrist since Dec. 10.She's a true Pullman kid," Murrell said. "She's a giddy-up, cowgirl kind of girl. She'll get out there and play with her heart."The Cougars are 5-74 in Pac-10 games the past five seasons, but DuRocher said, "We're still having a great time. We're not going to roll over for anybody. We're going to fight everybody until the end."
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