No. 19 UCLA 86, Loyola Marymount 66
LOS ANGELES (AP)
UCLA's frontline of Markel Walker and Alyssia Brewer proved too much yet again.
The duo who has dominated the offense in the season's early going had double-doubles in the 19th-ranked Bruins' 86-66 victory over Loyola Marymount on Sunday.
Walker finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to lead five players in double figures. Brewer had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
''Me and Alyssia, we have to be a spark,'' said Walker, who was unaware she narrowly missed a triple-double. ''I pay more attention to my turnovers (three) than assists.''
Kacy Swain added 14 points for the Bruins (4-1), who had a season-high 55 rebounds and were 22 of 25 from the free throw line. Atonye Nyingifa made all 10 of her free throws for all of her points. Nirra Fields added 10 points.
Hazel Ramirez was the only player in double figures for the Lions (5-4) with 17 points. They remained winless in three road games and fell to 0-9 all-time against the Bruins. LMU's leading scorer Alex Cowling had nine points and 10 rebounds.
''They're bigger than us and we're not really used to that,'' said Ramirez, who had five assists, two steals and one turnover.
With Walker, Brewer and Corinne Costa standing 6-foot-1 or better, the Bruins held a decided advantage in the paint and it helped them outscore the Lions, 44-24. When Walker wasn't scoring, she helped feed UCLA's fastbreak and grabbed loose balls.
''We love to run,'' Walker said. ''We have so many great passers and people who can go off the dribble. That's the best part of the offense.''
The Lions struggled to get closer than 18 points early in the second half. UCLA quickly stretched its lead to 26 points on a 3-pointer by Thea Lemberger and her layup with 5 1/2 minutes to go provided its largest lead of 27. Lemberger returned after missing the last two games with a sprained left knee. Walker sat down with 9:19 remaining and Brewer left a few minutes later.
''They took advantage of height and got second and third opportunities,'' first-year LMU coach Charity Elliott said. ''They showed us a few things we can work on. We're learning and we've made a lot of changes.''
UCLA coach Cori Close said her team's goal is always to make more free throws than opponents attempt. That was easy against the Lions, who were 7 of 8 from the line.
The Bruins broke open a close game early with a 29-9 run in the first half. Fields and Swain scored six points each, Walker added five and Nyingifa four, getting fastbreak baskets and pulling down 20 defensive rebounds. The Lions, who tossed up several airballs, ran off seven straight before Walker scored UCLA's final five points to send the Bruins into halftime leading 45-27.
''It took us a while to settle down,'' Elliott said. ''We just didn't have enough people helping.''
Both coaching staffs went barefoot to raise awareness of children around the world who don't have shoes. UCLA's cheerleaders removed their shoes for one routine.
''I'm a stomper so I had to be careful I didn't break an ankle,'' Elliott said.
Close had previously coached barefoot at Florida State.
''It's not bad either,'' she said. ''Stomping with those heels get to me.''