After breaking their four-game losing streak last Friday when they defeated Fresno State, 89-80, the UCLA women’s basketball team returns to action this afternoon at 2 pm PT.
Last Time Out
Prior to the Fresno State game, I wrote that the Bruins needed to find a way to stop losing the second quarter. That’s because UCLA had been outscored in the second quarter in three consecutive games and the Bruins ended up losing each of those games because they couldn’t overcome that one bad quarter of play.
Well, the Bruins flipped the script against Fresno State. After a close first quarter, UCLA was down by just two points. But, the Bruins outscored the Bulldogs in the second, 23-12. That put UCLA up 38-29 at the half.
After the break, the Bruins used the first four and a half minutes of the third quarter to double their lead to 18 points. While the Bulldogs would manage to cut the lead back to ten points by the end of the third, UCLA still outscored Fresno State in the third as well.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to single digits in the fourth, but the Bruins were still up by eight with 3:50 left. Fresno State actually managed to use the next 1:51 to reduce UCLA’s lead to just three, but the Bruins responded with a 7-0 run to extend their lead back to ten points with 29 seconds left as they held on to win, 89-80.
Michaela Onyenwere led all scorers with 29 points while Japreece Dean had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. With seven assists, Dean just missed out on a triple-double. Lindsey Corsaro and Kiara Jefferson were also in double figures for the Bruins with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Oklahoma State Cowgirls
Last year, when UCLA traveled to OKlahoma State, I was surprised when the Cowgirls upset the Bruins. So, it didn’t surprise me when I saw that this year’s team has started off the season by winning seven of their first eight games. Their lone loss so far this season came against Tennessee at home.
The Cowgirls have two players which are averaging in double figures. Braxtin Miller has averaged 17.3 ppg so far while Vivian Gray is averaging 16.9. LaTashia Jones leads the team in rebounds with an average of 11 per game.
The Cowgirls seem to shoot the ball well with a 38.4% field goal percentage and that extends to behind the arc as well where they are making 34.1% of their long-range attempts.
Just like the Fresno State game, UCLA cannot get stuck playing from behind and the second quarter is the key. If the Bruins let the Cowgirls step on the gas in the second quarter, it will be a long afternoon. On the other hand, if UCLA can take a lead into the half, the Bruins could actually win this game.
That said, I just don’t think this team is playing well enough to beat the Cowgirls. I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised.