The UCLA Bruins spent the last four games on the road. The Bruins are back home in Pauley Pavilion tonight when they face the Washington Huskies.
It was a bumpy road trip for UCLA, to say the least. They won only one of those road games. That win came against Stanford, while they lost to UC Berkeley, Oregon and Oregon State.
The last time UCLA played Washington they traveled to Seattle where they suffered a 12-point loss. The Bruins had no answers that game.
With only two weeks left in the regular season, a win is crucial for multiple reasons. The Bruins have a 25-game home winning streak on the line tonight. More importantly, there’s the matter of a bye in the Pac-12 Tournament. Currently, they sit in fourth place with two games ahead of Oregon and Arizona State. With their final two games on the road in Arizona, the Bruins can lock in the Pac-12 Tournament bye with two wins this weekend and at least one loss each by Oregon and Arizona State.
UCLA will need to play strong defense tonight. The Bruins and the Huskies have two of the highest-scoring offenses in the Pac-12. Washington averages around 81.7 points per game while UCLA is around 73.1 points. Washington is led by the senior duo of Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor. Osahor leads the nation in rebounds averaging 15.2 per game while also averaging 15.7 points per game. Her partner in crime Plum leads the nation in points per game at 30.5.
Of course, the Bruins have a duo of their own in Monique Billings and Jordin Canada. But, Canada was injured near the end of the second quarter against Oregon State and there is no word on if she will be able to play. Both Canada and Billings average around 18 points per game. If either of those two does not deliver, then there’s other Bruins who will step up. Kennedy Burke stepped up big time in Canada’s absence last week. Then there’s Kari Korver who is phenomenal at three-pointers. Nicole Kornet can also be a huge asset when she gets going.
A lot is at stake for UCLA tonight. They face a tough Washington team that they lost to earlier in the season. Even though the Bruins have hit a rough patch recently on the road, they have a chance to bounce back tonight and get on track for the Pac-12 and NCAA Tournaments.
#16 UCLA Women’s Basketball (18-7, 9-5)
Opponent: #9 Washington Huskies (24-3, 12-2)
When: Friday, February 17, 2017, 8 pm
Where: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
TV: Pac-12 Networks National, Los Angeles and Washington with Krista Blunk and Mary Murphy
Live Stream: Pac-12.com and Pac-12 Now App
Live Stats: UCLA Stat Broadcast
Audio: uclabruins.com with Dave Marcus
Official Game Preview