Triple-double helps UCLA women to 95-47 rout of Southern
LOS ANGELES (AP) UCLA guard Jordin Canada was focused on grabbing the rebound she needed for her first triple-double.
So when teammate Monique Billings flung away the rebounded ball they both held, Canada glared at her. Players and coaches on the UCLA bench all knew what was at stake and collectively groaned in disbelief.
Everyone finished with smiles because Canada notched her 10th rebound with 48 seconds left.
Canada had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists to lead No. 9 UCLA to a 95-47 win over Southern University on Friday night.
It's the sixth triple-double in school history, and Canada also crossed the 1,000-point mark, a milestone she didn't know about until after the game.
''It's also an honor. It's a great feeling to know that I've put in the work,'' Canada said. ''I'm very proud of myself, but it's not all about points. Yes, it's a great honor, but it's not everything.''
Kennedy Burke led the Bruins with 23 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers. UCLA finished with a school-record 14 3-pointers, breaking the 12 set against Hawaii in 2009.
Billings had a double-double with 22 points and 15 rebounds, her fifth consecutive since last season. She also set a career high with six steals.
But she drew the ire of her point guard.
''We have goals that we have to meet. Mo was one rebound away from getting 15 rebounds, which was her goal,'' Canada said. ''I was one rebound away from getting a triple-double. At the time, I thought she already met her goal. When the ball went up we both had it, and I was screaming because I wanted it. She took it away. I was mad.
''I didn't realize she hadn't met her goal until afterward, so I felt bad. We're just really passionate about getting our goals.''
UCLA had just nine players available for the game. Four players are injured and have yet to play this season.
Canada prides herself on passing, defending and, when a milestone is on the line, rebounding.
''I've never seen Jordan so mad at me running down the court,'' said Billings, with a laugh. ''She got her rebound, too. So it's all good.''
Skylar O'Bear scored 14 points and Briana Green added 12 for Southern (1-2).
Southern got the experience of playing one of the best teams in the country on the road and will have plenty of learning opportunities in a postgame film session.
UCLA has its sights set on a national championship. With an 84-70 loss to No. 2 Baylor on the road four days ago, it showed there's work to be done. UCLA dominated Southern at home, where it plays so well, but hasn't won a road game against a ranked opponent in its last 13 consecutive games. After the loss to Baylor, UCLA likely will fall out of the top 10.
''I think we're still not playing anywhere close to what we're going to become. That's a good news-bad news. It's bad news because we missed an opportunity at Baylor. The good news is that there's no danger this group is going to peak early. We have so many things we still need to work on. On the other hand, we're shooting the ball great. We're a selfless team.'' – UCLA coach Cori Close on ways to improve after a 48-point win.
Southern University returns home to play Bethune-Cookman on Thursday. It's a one-game stint in New Orleans, with the Jaguars playing six of their first eight games on the road.
UCLA hosts Cal Poly on Sunday before traveling to Mexico to play Iowa in the Cancun Challenge, which starts on Thanksgiving.