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November 24, 2013

Bruins exact revenge on Sooners

LOS ANGELES — Cori Close didn’t ask her UCLA players to do a bunch of new things against Oklahoma. She just challenged them to do one thing to try and win each possession.

The Bruins did enough, especially on the boards, to upset the 10th-ranked Sooners 82-76 Sunday for their first win over a ranked opponent in three tries this season.

“We focused on our defense and we just got more possessions,” Close said. “We didn’t worry about whether they were going perfectly and eventually our offense came.”

Atonye Nyingifa had career highs of 28 points and 16 rebounds, Nirra Fields added a career-best 17 points for the Bruins (2-2), who earlier lost to ranked Nebraska and North Carolina.

“That was the first time we played exactly to the scouting report,” Fields said.

The Bruins got rebounds from seven of their eight players in dominating the boards, 49-29, including a 20-5 edge on the offensive glass. Fields had nine rebounds and Luiana Livulo had eight before fouling out.

“We worked on it in practice, our team was really aggressive,” said Nyingifa, a sixth-year senior. “Those second opportunities really kept us in the game and kept our momentum going.”

Nicole Griffin scored 19 points for the Sooners (4-2), who ended UCLA’s postseason hopes last spring with an 85-72 victory in the NCAA tournament.

Sharene Campbell added 13 points and Kaylon Williams 12 before both fouled out in the team’s first road game. The Sooners were in foul trouble much of the second half, when Gioya Carter also fouled out and two others had three fouls apiece.

The Sooners got outrebounded for the third straight game.

“That’s the one thing that was just abysmal,” Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. “We made number eleven look like an All-American. At some point, you got to want the ball as much as the other team.”

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