UCLA has split the first two weekends of Pac-12 play and the Bruins head to the Mountain schools looking for a sweep.
Conference play has not gone the way UCLA would have liked. They have won two and dropped two. The Bruins haven’t been consistency and it’s really starting to be an issue.
Facing the Utah Utes this time around will be different than in past games. It only took three years, but Utah has started to turn their program around. Last year, they were 16-15 and are now 12-3. That’s an big change from last year’s campaign. Utah is even ahead of UCLA in the conference standings right now.
It doesn’t stop there. Utah is outscoring their opponents by an average of 18 points per game and are ranked 17th in the NCAA. The Utes also out-rebound opponents by an average of 11 per game which is good for 6th in the country.
A big factor in tonight’s game will be if UCLA can sharpen the little things. Buckets would not go in for the Bruins against the Ducks and it cost them the game. Jordin Canada will continue to be Jordin Canada and will always figure out how to get to the basket. Monique Billings, regardless of missed shots last game, will also continue to make buckets. Billings is averaging 15.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. While the duo of Canada and Billings lead the team, the rest of the Bruins can’t continue to rely on them. While some of the freshmen have started to break out, Michaela Onyenwere and Chantel Horvat come to mind, there’s still so much they have to learn.
Utah will not be an easy like it has been in the past. The Utes have become serious contenders this season and UCLA will have their hands full. If they drop the game, I won’t be surprised. Just like if they win I wouldn’t be surprised either. With this team, one never knows where the score line will end up.
This is your UCLA Women’s Basketball vs. Utah Utes open thread!