Despite winning both games last week, the UCLA women’s basketball team fell out of the Coaches Top 25 this week due to their season opening loss to Loyola Marymount. This weekend, the Bruins are in the Caribbean for the US Virgin Island Paradise Jam. This afternoon, UCLA will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Last TIme Out
On Sunday, the Bruins faced off against previously unbeaten Seton Hall and didn’t have a whole lot of trouble giving the Pirates their first loss of the season. Seton Hall scored first but their lead didn’t last very long.
With the Pirates up 4-3 early in the game, Kennedy Burke hit a jumper to put the Bruins up 5-4 and UCLA pretty much controlled the rest of the game as the Bruins led 21-14 after the first quarter.
The second quarter was much of the same. The Bruins didn’t let the Pirates get back into this one and UCLA stretched their lead to double digits by the end of the half and the score was 41-31, Bruins.
Hopefully, the men’s basketball team was watching the game. That’s because UCLA put on a defensive clinic in the third quarter by holding the Pirates to just six points over the course of the quarter. This allowed the Bruins to double their lead to 20 points and they led 57-37 after three.
UCLA kept things up offensively into the fourth quarter as the Bruins stretched their lead to as many as 26 points. Seton Hall did make to chip away at that lead over the last eight and a half minutes, but the Bruins still came out of this one with a 16-point win, 78-62.
Four Bruins were in double figures. Japreece Dean led all scorers with 20. Michaela Onyenwere was second with 15 points while Lauryn Miller and Kennedy Burke added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels started the season off with wins over Elon, Kent State and Virginia Commonwealth before they lost to Colorado, 86-74, on the road this past Sunday.
Janelle Bailey leads North Carolina in scoring with an average of 17.5 points per game. Against Colorado, Bailey led the Tar Heels with 26 points while Shayla Bennett had 18. While this duo isn’t the Tar Heels only scoring threat as Paris Kea, Stephanie Watts and Taylor Koenan are all closing in on scoring milestones for UNC, they are critical players to stop because Bailey leads the team in rebounds with an average of 9.3 per game and Bennett leads the team in assists, averaging 4.5 per game.
This one’s hard to predict because both teams look to be young and it’s still very early in the season. So, I think that this will be a tough battle and that UCLA may come out on the short side of this one simply because the travel to the Caribbean may take its toll.
But who knows? The Tar Heels could be distracted by the fact that they got out of colder weather while that shouldn’t affect the Bruins.
This is your UCLA women’s basketball vs. North Carolina open thread.