LOS ANGELES — Atonye Nyingifa scored 17 points and No. 14 UCLA pulled away to start the second half in beating Washington State 78-52 on Friday night for its fifth straight victory.
Thea Lemberger added 13 points, and Nirra Fields scored all 10 of her points in the first half for the Bruins (12-2, 3-0 Pac-12). They improved to 47-7 in the all-time series, having won all 27 games played in Los Angeles.
Tia Presley scored 16 points to lead the Cougars (5-9, 1-2), who got 11 points from Lia Galdeira in losing for the fourth time in six games.
The Bruins stretched a four-point halftime lead into a 55-35 advantage to open the second half. Markel Walker scored six points, and Nyingifa and Lemberger had four points each in the 18-4 run that gave them the lead for good.
The Cougars never got closer than two points after Carly Noyes made a layup to score their first points of the final 20 minutes. Midway through the half, they cut their deficit 59-43 on a layup by Presley, who was in the middle of scoring seven in a row for her team.
But the Bruins picked up where they left off, going on a 17-6 run that increased their lead to 76-49.
UCLA’s defense came up big, too. The Bruins converted 19 turnovers into 31 points while holding the Cougars to 35 percent shooting.
The Bruins’ bench outscored Washington State’s reserves, 29-17. UCLA owned a 44-22 edge in the paint and had 25 assists, led by eight from Walker.