Los Angeles, Calif. – Jordin Canada lead No. 9 UCLA past Cal Poly Sunday, but fell just short of a second consecutive triple-double.
The junior guard had 19 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in the 80-64 win, just missing a chance to be the first Pac-12 player in 14 years to have two in a row. Canada also would have matched Bruin Hall of Famer Ann Meyers for the most triple-doubles in school history.
“I was just focusing on the things I could control,” Canada said. “My teammates tried very hard. I’m glad they tried to have my back on that.”
UCLA put so much effort into helping Canada that they scored only 10 points in the last quarter, after leading by as much as 30. Coach Cori Close said she didn’t worry about the shot output because she knew what the team was trying to do.
“I credit the selflessness of this team in that they wanted that (for her),” Close said. “Sometimes they’d rush the shot because they didn’t want to take the extra two dribbles and mess it up for Jordin.”
Monique Billings had 15 points for the Bruins before fouling out, and Nicole Kornet added 14. Kennedy Burke came off the bench to score 14 points.
Lynn Leaupepe lead three Mustangs in double figures with 22 points.
Canada scored 12 of her points in the third quarter. She had many opportunities to garner her tenth assist, but her teammates failed to score in the game’s last four minutes.
“We’ll get it next time because I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of more opportunities for her,” Kornet said.
The addition of Kornet has turned UCLA into more of a shooting team this season than it has been in the recent past. They are still adjusting to the new lineup.
“People are in different roles this year and we have to step up,” Canada said. “Now that we have an extra shooter in Nicole, it opens up the lane for me. It’s very different from last year when we had both shooters and drivers.”
Close said the Bruins need to work on defensive rebounding and consistently executing a game plan. But she said the personnel works well.
“I’m most pleased with our balance – that’s a strength,” Close said. “We’re a very hard team to guard.”
UCLA travels to Mexico Tuesday where they will play Iowa and Toledo in the Cancun Challenge.