Saturday, December 4

UCLA women set to recover from losses

Despite mistakes in the last two games, basketball team determined to make comeback

Freshman forward Markel Walker and the Bruins head to Pullman, Wash., tonight to face the last-place Cougars. Shalev Netanel

Coming off of their two most stinging losses on the year, UCLA women’s basketball (10-6, 3-2 Pac-10) will have the chance to rebound this weekend when they travel to Washington to take on the Washington State Cougars(5-12, 0-6) tonight and the Washington Huskies (8-8, 3-3) Saturday.

Forgive the pun, but they need to rebound this weekend.

Having begun the Pac-10 season with three consecutive wins, the Bruins have lost their last two in conference, one in a nail-biter to the No. 2 Stanford and the other this past Sunday against USC, a game in which the Bruins shot themselves in the foot with mistakes.

“It’s a disappointment and it sucks losing to USC, especially,” junior guard Darxia Morris said after Wednesday’s practice. “They’re a good team and they gave us a real hard game, but we know we should have never lost that game. We lost ourselves and … we didn’t make free throws and layups and that really cost us the game.”

The Bruins shot an abysmal 9-for-20 from the free-throw line on Sunday, and after holding the Trojans to shooting just 29 percent from the field in the first half, UCLA allowed USC to shoot nearly 46 percent in the second half.

“I know the next games that we play, we’re going to be in there with a lot of energy, making our layups and making free-throws,” Morris said. “Everybody put extra work in after the ‘SC game because we had a lot of ups and downs. The ‘SC game really woke us up.”

One area in which UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell expressed concern in the Bruins loss Sunday was the play of her guards, Morris and fellow junior Doreena Campbell. The tandem combined for only five assists while committing nine turnovers, and Caldwell is aware that when her guards struggle, so does the team.

However, according to Morris, although she was not completely satisfied with last weekend’s game, she, along with Campbell, also feed off the play of their teammates.

“It’s a big responsibility for me and Doreena but … that’s our role for the team so we got to take that responsibility,” Morris said. “But I think the team has responsibility too, it’s not just me and Doreena. If they go, we go too.”

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