UCLA Basketball: The Women’s and Men’s Season Opener Game Previews

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Dec 30, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins coach Cori Close (right) and guard Jordin Canada (3) against the Southern California Trojans at Galen Center. UCLA defeated USC 59-52. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Women’s Basketball vs St. John’s Red Storm

2014-15 Records: St. John’s 23-11, UCLA 19-18

Tipoff: 5 p.m. PT

Location: Pauley Pavilion (Cap. 12,829)

Tickets: UCLABruins.com

TV: UCLA Live Stream

Preview: In their first game back since ending the 2014-15 season on a six-game win streak to win the WNIT, the UCLA Women’s team destroyed Vanguard 113-42 in an exhibition game two weeks ago.

RELATED: UCLA Women’s Basketball Preview

The Bruins were led by senior guard Nirra Fields who finished the game with 24 points, 12 of which she scored in the first period. She was aided by super sophomore Jordin Canada who threw in 20 points of her own.

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St. John’s has a very potent guard as well. Senior Aliyyah Handford is looking to make history this season as she could very likely become the all-time leading scorer for the St. John’s Women’s Basketball team.

They definitely have a baller, but the team might need some fine tuning as the Red Storm was also invited to the WNIT, but unlike the Bruins, they lost in the first round.

St. John’s had a decent year, but this UCLA team should be able to slow them down especially on defense. Down low, the Bruins are stacked with good post defenders, especially forward Monique Billings who was dominant under the basket in the Bruin’s exhibition putting up 12 points and bringing down 6 rebounds.

Overall, the Bruins look to have one of the deepest and most talented rosters in the Cori Close-era. With that, expect a strong UCLA Women’s Basketball victory to start the season.

Predictions: St. John’s 56 – UCLA 63

Next: UCLA Men vs Monmouth