The UCLA women’s basketball team broke into the AP Top 25 this week after defeating Oregon last Friday and narrowing losing at Oregon State on Sunday, 75-72. Tonight, the Bruins host the Utah Utes in the penultimate game of the regular season at 7 pm PT.
Last Time Out
On Sunday, the Bruins lost a close game to the Oregon State Beavers. This one came down to the wire and UCLA was on the wrong side of it.
The game actually started well for the Bruins. UCLA got on the scoreboard first with a Kennedy Burke jumper and led for most of the first quarter, despite the fact that there was about two and a half minutes where the lead was changing with each shot. Eventually, the Bruins were able to increase their lead to seven points in the final minute of the quarter and UCLA led 20-13 after the first.
In the second quarter, the Beavers chipped away at the Bruins’ lead and even tied it a few times, but every time they tied it UCLA responded by re-taking the lead again until there were about two minutes left in the quarter. As a result, Oregon State took a four-point lead into the locker room at the break.
The third quarter was hard-fought and the Beavers weren’t able to extend their lead at all. Meanwhile, when UCLA had the lead, they could extend theirs beyond three points. A three-pointer by Japreece Dean with 1:51 to go gave the Bruins a two-point lead, 54-52. For the rest of the quarter, only one more basket was made and it was made by Oregon State’s Joanna Grymek as time expired to tie the game, 54-54, after three quarters.
Oregon State re-took the lead early in the fourth and, by the 6:33 mark, the Beavers had gone up by seven, 64-57. But the Bruins weren’t done yet. UCLA went on an 11-4 run to tie it back up again, 68-68, with just under three minutes to go. A 7-2 Oregon State run left UCLA down 75-70 with 25 seconds left and, while the Bruins did manage to cut the Beaver lead to three points, Dean’s three-point attempt, which would have sent the game to overtime, missed and UCLA lost 75-72.
Michaela Onyenwere led the Bruins with 19 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double. Lajahne also had a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards. Meanwhile, Burke added 14 points and Dean scored 13.
The Utes have already won 20 games this season. Despite that, they are not ranked in the top 25 of either women’s basketball poll. They swept the Washington schools at home last weekend to snap Utah’s six-game losing streak which included a loss to the Bruins on February 10.
The Bruins won that game, 100-90, and UCLA set a school-record for the most points in a quarter. I expect that the Bruins should win tonight’s game by a bigger margin than a few weeks ago.
This is your UCLA vs. Utah women’s basketball open thread.