No. 15 UCLA 65, UC Davis 49

Coming off a huge road win, UCLA wasn’t about to let up back at
home.

Darxia Morris had 14 points, seven assists and five steals while
Jasmine Dixon added 13 points to help No. 15 UCLA to its best start
in 14 years with a 65-49 victory over UC Davis on Sunday.

The Bruins secured an 86-83 win in double-overtime over No. 12
Notre Dame on Thursday.

”We beat a ranked team up in Notre Dame – it was a big win,”
Morris said. ”But we didn’t want to come to our home court and not
play as hard as we can.

”We knew we had to make a statement, so we had to win this
game.”

Antonye Nyingifa finished with 12 points and Doreena Campbell
added 10 points and five assists for UCLA, which improved to 4-0.
The Bruins last started with four straight wins during the 1986-87
season.

That year’s team lost its fifth game, a path these Bruins hope
not to mimic.

”It’s a good accomplishment, but I believe that we can do
better,” Morris said. ”We can’t look at being 4-0 and just be
settled with it. We have to keep going forward.”

UCLA set season-high marks by shooting 54 percent (27 of 50) and
forcing 32 turnovers.

Despite that, Bruins coach Nikki Caldwell felt that her team
wasn’t as sharp as they needed to be for the full 40 minutes. The
Bruins committed 29 turnovers themselves.

”We had spurts of us playing like we’re supposed to,” Caldwell
said. ”And then we had spurts that we didn’t play as well. That’s
just us not maintaining our focus.”

One of those spurts came right out of halftime as the Bruins
pushed the tempo with a 13-3 run that resulted in a 21-point
cushion.

Dixon opened the run with two layups before a 3-pointer by the
Aggies. The Bruins followed with nine straight points, with four
coming from Campbell. Her steal and subsequent layup that made it
45-24.

”We focused on defense and just trying to get them more rattled
so that we can get easy buckets,” Campbell said.

Vicky Deely finished with 21 points, including five 3-pointers,
and Paige Mintun added 11 points for UC Davis (3-1), which was
outrebounded 36-19.

”We looked tentative,” UC Davis coach Sandy Simpson said. ”If
you’re tentative and try not to make mistakes, it almost doubles
the number of miscues. We were trying not to make a mistake so
hard, it just exasperated the situation.”

The Aggies relied heavily on shots from distance, going just 9
of 33 from 3-point range – a testament to UCLA’s perimeter
defense.

”They’re a lot quicker and a lot longer,” Simpson said. ”So
our kids are having to rush just enough that the shots are
off.”

UCLA built a double-digit lead in the first half courtesy of a
13-0 run.

After the Aggies pulled within 17-16 on Deely’s 3-pointer,
Nyingifa converted consecutive layups and Campbell added a pair of
free throws.

Morris and Rebekhah Gardner nailed jumpers and Dixon had a layup
and a free throw to close the flurry and make it 30-16. The Bruins
led 32-21 at the half.

Sunday’s meeting was the first-ever between the California-based
schools.