1) Lady Bruins keep monkey on back.

The UCLA women’s soccer team failed to win its first national title despite a six straight College Cup appearance, after losing to North Carolina, 1-0, in the semifinal game in front of 8,926 fans at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C. Dec. 5. UCLA (22-1-2) lost its first game of the season, despite matching a school record for most wins in season.

North Carolina’s Yael Averbuch scored the game’s only goal on a penalty kick late in the 40th minute.

2) Trojans seeing roses.

The Trojans clinched their fourth consecutive Rose Bowl appearance after defeating UCLA, 28-7, Saturday. Fifth-ranked USC (11-1, 8-1) defeated UCLA for the ninth time in 10 games and will play Penn State in the Rose Bowl Game Jan. 1.

USC had 478 yards of total offense, compared to 157 for UCLA. Trojan tailback Joe McKnight rushed for 99 yards on 15 carries, while quarterback Mark Sanchez completed 18 of 33 passes for two touchdowns and 269 yards.

The Bruins dropped to 4-8 (3-6).

3) Bruins struck by Longhorns, tame Matadors.

UCLA basketball settled for a split week, losing to Texas Dec. 4 before defeating Cal State Northridge three days later. The 16th-ranked Bruins (5-2) cruised to an 85-67 victory over Northridge (1-7) at Pauley Pavilion Sunday, recovering from a 68-64 loss to No. 6 Texas in Austin.

4) Lakers have Sun spots.

Chinese Olympian Sun Yue made his NBA debut when he entered the Lakers-Bucks game with a little more than five minutes remaining in the game. He scored four points on two-of-three shooting and had four fouls and two turnovers.

The six-foot, nine-inch guard was selected by the Lakers in the 2007 NBA Draft and signed a two-year deal with the team in August. He averaged 6.8 points and 2.5 assists a game for the Chinese national team in the Beijing Olympics.

5) Goodbye, Mr. Maddux.

After two stints with the Dodgers, pitcher Greg Maddux, 42, announced his retirement from baseball Dec. 8. The future Hall-of-Famer won four Cy Young Awards, 18 Gold Gloves and 355 games. He made his final pitching appearance in relief for the Dodgers during the National League Championship Series.

Maddux started his MLB career in 1986, also pitching for the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. He was an eight-time all-star, and his 355 wins rank eighth in major league history.

6) Dodger Greats Not Enshrined

Dodger manager Joe Torre and former team greats Gil Hodges and Maury Wills did not earn enough votes to be elected to the Hall of Fame, a major league veterans committee reported Monday from the Las Vegas winter meetings. Once considered by the veterans committee, a player is no longer eligible to be elected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

7) LaBarbera earns the donut.

Goalie Justin LaBarbera earned his fourth career shutout – and second of the season – in a 3-0 victory over Columbus on Saturday at Staples Center. He stopped 22 shots.

8) Getzalf finishes the deal.

Anaheim center Ryan Getzlaf finished what the Kings started, as the Ducks sent the Blue Jackets back to Columbus empty-handed in their Southern California trip. Anaheim defeated Columbus, 5-3, behind two goals by Getzlaf at the Honda Center Sunday.

9) High School Football Playoff Scores (Partial)


PAC-5 (I)

Tesoro 42, Orange Lutheran 14

Long Beach Poly 20, Lakewood 10


Corona Centennial 38, Murrieta Valley 17



Narbonne 25, Crenshaw 24

San Pedro 27, Taft 7


Arleta 42, Los Angeles Wilson 20

Franklin 13, Los Angeles Roosevelt 6

10) Circle that quote.

“We don’t need Coach’s permission to rebound and run.” —Shaquille O’Neal