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UCLA women lose in OT

January 07, 2008|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

There would be no letdown for the UCLA women's basketball team Sunday afternoon, just an overall downer.

The Bruins lost to No. 10-ranked California in overtime, 73-70, in a Pacific 10 Conference game at Pauley Pavilion, but may have lost much more.

Darxia Morris, a freshman guard who led UCLA to a historic victory over No. 2 Stanford two days earlier, injured her right knee when she collided with defender Natasha Vital on a baseline drive with 5:52 remaining in regulation.

She fell to the floor and grimaced in pain before she was helped to the locker room. Morris, who had anterior cruciate ligament surgery on the same knee two years ago, was scheduled to be examined today, UCLA Coach Kathy Olivier said.

"Hopefully, it's a good result," Olivier said.

Before Morris went down, the Bruins (7-8, 2-2) appeared in position for another upset. UCLA had climbed from a seven-point halftime deficit to take its first lead, 51-50, on a fortunate bounce off a jump shot from Morris with 11:04 remaining.

On the same possession that Morris was injured, Lindsey Pluimer sank a three-point basket from the baseline to give the Bruins a 64-59 lead, but UCLA did not convert a field goal the remainder of regulation.

In the overtime, Pluimer made a three-point basket from straight out, giving her a team-high 16 points, and Nina Earl banked in a shot to give the Bruins a 70-68 lead, but Cal center Devanei Hampton scored inside on the next possession, then made one of two free throws with 42.5 seconds left to give the Bears the lead for good.

Hampton finished with 16 points. Vital scored a game-high 18 points, leading the Bears (13-2, 4-0) to their first sweep in Los Angeles since the 2000-01 season.

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