STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Thea Lemberger and Atonye Nyingifa have played more minutes than anyone else in the Pac-12 Conference. Nirra Fields is not far behind.
UCLA coach Cori Close has no other choice. When she looks down her bench, she sees eight healthy bodies. Everybody else is out for the season.
The Bruins stayed with No. 4 Stanford just about as long as they could. They were within six points heading into the final eight minutes before withering under the constant reinforcements.
"We made a huge deal about coming out in the second half with even more energy," Close said after the Bruins fell to Stanford, 72-55 on Friday night. "Then we sort of hit a wall in the second half. We have to find a way to push through because it's not going to change."
Nyingifa scored 18 points and had eight rebounds to lead the Bruins (10-10, 4-4 Pac-12), who had won three of their previous four games. Fields scored 13 points.
"It was a mixed bag for us," Close said. "They are a lot of things to be proud of. We played with good energy for a long time. I've never been so thrilled to hold someone to 21 points."
That someone was two-time All-American Chiney Ogwumike, who scored 21 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cardinal (7-0, 18-1), who were held to their closest margin of victory in conference.
Ogwumike, second in the nation in field goal percentage, missed five of her first six shots against an aggressive Bruins defense that shifted between zone and man defense to find ways to slow down the All-American.