UCLA hosts the UCSB Gauchos in their last non-conference home game of the 2017 year. If this year is anything like last year, the Bruins can close out their non-conference home games in 2017 with five wins, including five straight wins against the Gauchos.
In the Bruins’ last game against UC Riverside on Tuesday night, UCLA once again dominated the scoreline, but not the performance as the Bruins are still trying to find their stability regardless of the rank of their opponents.
Monique Billings led the Bruins with 14 points and 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Kelli Hayes added 12 points while Jordin Canada registered 10 points. But it was UC Riverside’s Michelle Curry who led all scorers with 15 points.
Even though the Bruins had a 34-17 lead at the end of the half, they just didn’t play sharply. The Bruins finished the game a total of 18 turnovers with eight of them coming from five underclassmen. Those five underclassmen also combined for a total of 23 points. Coach Close has given the five players (Horvat, Owens, Onyenwere, Miller, and Rosenblum) significant time in order to help develop them. That’s what games like these are best for.
Despite the inexperience of the five underclassmen, the Bruins defeated the Highlanders 68-48.
UCLA and UC Santa Barbara have met 15 times with UCLA leading the series 13-2. Their last four meetings have been Bruin victories. In their last meeting, Canada scored 30 points while Billings had 17 points and seven rebounds. While the upperclassmen will score their points like they usually do, the underclassmen will see a lot of time just like Tuesday night. Hopefully, these five learn how to be a consistent team, which the current team seems to have trouble with.
This is your UCLA Women’s Basketball vs. UC Santa Barbara game thread!