Billings, Canada lead No. 9 UCLA women over Michigan 84-64 (Dec 11, 2016)
LOS ANGELES (AP) Jordin Canada wowed with moves in the lane, spectacular passes and pull-up jump shots. UCLA coach Cori Close doesn't ever let the guard or any other player glance at the Jumbotron to check out replays, but Sunday would've been a good day for a watch party.
Canada and her teammates will see plenty of highlights at the end of film sessions, the only time Close allows what she calls ''passion plays'' to be shown, after leading the ninth-ranked Bruins over Michigan 84-64.
Canada had 16 points, a career-high 14 assists and no turnovers while Monique Billings and had 19 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Kelli Hayes added a career-high 16 points.
''I don't think we're close, but I think we made a huge step today,'' Close said.
Canada is on the Naismith Trophy watch list for the best player in women's college basketball.
''Most of the time I'm working on things I need to get better at,'' Canada said. ''I don't really like to think about stuff like that. My concern is getting better and growing.''
The Bruins (7-1) took a 10-0 lead and extended their home winning streak to 18 in a row dating to last season. UCLA has won 22 straight against unranked opponents.
Michigan (8-3) was led by Kysre Gondrezick with 18 points and Hallie Thome with 15 points.
The Wolverines were without three players - Boogie Brozoski and Sam Trammel stayed home to prepare for exams, and Nicole Munger was out with an injured left foot.
Billings had 11 points and 12 rebounds as UCLA took a 45-25 halftime lead.
All five starters for UCLA scored in double figures.
Michigan took a step backward as it struggled to move the ball offensively and let UCLA dominate inside. It had played well the last few games and fared much better against then-No. 10 Florida State in a 76-62 loss.
UCLA did whatever it wanted offensively, getting high-percentage shots and using its stifling defense to fluster Michigan. Its performance will serve as a good warmup for its longest road stretch of the season.
UCLA should stay at No. 9 or could move up a spot as No. 8 Louisville is the only team ahead of it in the rankings with two losses.
With the UCLA men beating Michigan at Pauley Pavilion on Saturday and the women doing the same on Sunday, the Bruins made it a weekend sweep. The Michigan men's team sat behind the Michigan bench for Sunday's game and the teams were scheduled to share a charter flight back to Ann Arbor, providing they could return as there is a snowstorm. Some players on the UCLA men's team were in attendance as well.
THROUGH THE TREES
Michigan tried to pack the lane with its interior defense but that didn't bother Canada, who drove the lane and scored on layups and jumpers or kicked the ball out.
''Mentally I've always had that where I don't fear anyone,'' Canada said. ''I'm not afraid to play anyone, that's just the mentality that I have.''
QUOTE OF THE GAME
''UCLA played phenomenal. I've watched a lot of film, and I don't know if they played as well as they played tonight. I thought they really clicked on all cylinders. They defended us extremely, extremely well. They played incredibly hard. They executed on the offensive end. They rebounded the heck out of the ball. They're a great team.'' - Michigan coach Kim Barnes
Michigan: Just finished seven consecutive road games away from the Crisler Center and returns home for four consecutive games against Ohio, Vermont, American and Rutgers.
UCLA: Has feasted on a home-heavy schedule and now hit the road for three consecutive games - at UC Santa Barbara, South Carolina and North Carolina AT&T.