Canada helps UCLA beat Creighton 86-64

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Canada helps UCLA beat Creighton 86-64
UCLA forward Monique Billings (25) shoots as Creighton forward Kylie Brown (33) defends in the first half of a second-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Los Angeles, Monday, March 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jordin Canada scored 21 points and Japreece Dean added 16 points to lead third-seeded UCLA to an 86-64 victory over No. 11 seed Creighton in the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Monday night.

UCLA (26-7) reaches the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive year and advances to the Kansas City Regional and will face Texas on Friday.

Canada, made six of seven shots and dished out eight assists to lead the Bruins. The senior guard, the Pac 12 defensive Player of the Year and three-time All-Conference guard, has scored 20 or more points in six of her last eight games.

Monique Billings scored 15 points and Kennedy Burke added 11 points for UCLA.

Audrey Faber led Creighton with 20 points and Olivia Elger added 13 for the Bluejays.

The Bruins scored on eight of their first nine possessions to jump to an early double-digit lead. Dean’s 3-pointer at the 4:12 mark of the opening quarter gave UCLA an 18-7 lead. The Bruins kept the defensive pressure on the Bluejays and led 26-15 after the first quarter.

UCLA continued to use its speed and quickness in the second quarter and forced 10 first half turnovers while upping its lead to 49-32 at the break, following a pair of free throws by Billings down the stretch. Billings led the Bruins with 13 points in the first half. Creighton never got closer than 17 points in the second half.

Faber made 4-of-6 three pointer attempts and led the Bluejays with 16 points in the opening half.

Both teams shot over 50 percent in the first half and UCLA held a slim 15-12 advantage on the glass.

Monday was only the second meeting all-time between Creighton and UCLA. The Bruins won the first meeting earlier this year, 72-63, at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout on Nov. 25, 2017 in Las Vegas.

The Bruins improved to 14-3 at home this season. Jaclyn Agnew and Sydney Lamberty, who combined to score 44 points in Creighton’s win over Iowa on Saturday, made only 3 of 13 shots and scored nine points.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: The Bruins are making their 15th NCAA tournament appearance. UCLA’s best finish was in 1999 when they reached the Elite Eight. The Bruins have an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 17-14.

CREIGHTON: The Bluejays finished fourth in the Big East this season and were attempting to advance to their program’s first Sweet 16. CU returned to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time under head coach Jim Flanery and the seventh time in program history. Creighton is 5-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.