This evening, the UCLA women’s basketball team wraps up non-conference play with a game against Cal Poly at Pauley Pavilion at 5 pm PT.
The Bruins have won their last two games. On Sunday, December 16th, UCLA avenged last season’s loss to Oklahoma State with a 71-59 win. Kennedy Burke led all scorers with 20 points in this game. Michaela Onyenwere had 16 points while Lajahna Drummer added 12 points. Drummer also had 10 rebounds, giving her a double-double. Japreece Dean led the Bruins with 7 assists. UCLA again lost the second quarter of this game, but they managed to take a 33-31 lead into the locker room at the half. The Bruins opened it up in the third to take a 15-point lead, 53-38.
UCLA still led by 15 with a little less than four minutes to go. While the Cowgirls were about to cut the Bruins’ lead to 10, that’s as close as they got as the Bruins held on for the 12-point win.
Then, last Wednesday, while most Bruin fans were focused on the start of the college football Early Signing Period, UCLA traveled to Chicago to face the Illinois-Chicago Flames. Onyenwere scored 19 while rebounding 11 for a double-double, which earned her last week’s UCLA/Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honors. Drummer was the only other Bruin in double figures when she added 16 points.
The Bruins started this game off with a 12-0 run. After giving up a bucket, they went on a 9-0 run to make it 21-2 and the Flames finished up the quarter with their only other basket of the period, a three-pointer by Brittany Byrd.
UCLA stretched their lead to as many as 25 points in the second quarter before a free throw with 14 seconds left cut the Bruins’ halftime lead to 24, 39-15.
The Bruins kept pushing in the second half. UCLA increased their lead to 27 points on four different occasions. Meanwhile, the Flames were struggling to keep up buJUt they managed to cut UCLA’s lead to 21 after three quarters. In the fourth, UCLA shut the door by outscoring the Flames, 20-10, giving the Bruins their easiest win of the season so far.
Cal Poly Mustangs
Cal Poly comes into tonight’s game having won just three of their first ten games. After winning their season opener against the Academy of Art, the Mustangs lost their next six games including one against Fresno State, their only common opponent with UCLA so far. Cal Poly defeated Eastern Washington on November 28th and, this month, they lost to St. Mary’s while topping Seattle.
Technically, Hana Vasela leads the Mustangs with an average of 17 points per game, but, so far, she has only played in Cal Poly’s most recent game against Seattle. So, the Bruins will likely need to stop the junior transfer this evening. There’s only one other player on the team averaging double figures in points and that’s senior Devin Stanback. Stanback was limited to just 16 minutes against Seattle. Senior point guard Dye Stahley leads the team with 49 assists. Vasela also leads the team in rebounds per game with 7, but, again, she’s only played in one game. Senior forward Katie Nunnelley has played in all ten games and is averaging 6.2 per game.
UCLA should win this game pretty easily. In fact, I won’t be surprised if the Bruins win by more than 30 points for the second game in a row. Cal Poly lost to Fresno State by 18 while the Bruins beat them by 9 points. Throw in a few points for the mystique and aura of Pauley Pavilion and you get a 30-point Bruin win.
This should be a good tune-up for the Bruins before Sunday’s Pac-12 opener against Southern Cal, but UCLA can’t look past the Mustangs given how they’ve had mixed results so far this year.