NCAA Women's Bracket 2011 Update: Gonzaga Down 38-35 To UCLA After Exciting First Half

Gonzaga Bulldogs coach Kelly Graves said after Saturday's win in Spokane against Iowa that he felt it was the best game of women's basketball of the year.

The first half of tonight's game in which the third-seeded UCLA Bruins have taken a 38-35 halftime lead might be even better.

Yet for some reason ESPN feels as though the #4 Kentucky Wildcats vs. #5 North Carolina Tar Heels game was the preferred choice for Seattle fans, nevermind that Gonzaga Bulldogs star Courtney Vandersloot is from Kentwood and the game is in Spokane.

Already UCLA has shown that they have no fear of playing an uptempo game with Gonzaga on their home floor, shooting 45.7 percent an co-led by Jasmine Dixon in the post and Darxia Morris hitting jumpers for nine points apiece. Meanwhile, Gonzaga has struggled to contend with UCLA's athleticism and physical play in the post being outrebounded 21 to 14 overall and 7 to 1 on the offensive boards, although UCLA has only turned that into four second chance points.

However, Gonzaga hasn't exactly backed down in the post either - once again, they've been looking for versatile forward Kayla Standish in the post and she has a team-high 12 points in the first half. Needing just 10 points to get to become the first player ever to reach 2000 points and 1000 assists, Bulldogs point guard Courtney Vandersloot has eight at halftime after struggling to hit short jumpers in the paint that UCLA was giving her. But she hasn't failed to dazzle - Vandersloot has given her fans no-look passes, beautifully timed backdoor passes, and a one-handed seemingly-desperation pass from free throw line to free throw line for her eight assists.

Right now, the Bulldogs have to find a way to do better on the boards if they want to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row.

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