At the beginning of January, the UCLA Women’s Basketball team pounded the Oregon State Beavers, 84-49. But, that was a home game for the Bruins. Now, UCLA has to face them up in Corvallis.
And, it probably won’t be as easy as last time.
Since that last meeting, the Beavers have gone 8-3 in the conference and they currently sit in fourth place in the Pac-12 behind first-place Stanford and a second-place tie between Oregon and UCLA.
As it stands, the Cardinal are only a half game ahead of the Bruins and the Ducks. So, a UCLA win tonight would allow the Bruins to keep pace with Stanford. The Ducks are in action tonight against Southern Cal and, like it or not, the combination of a Bruin win and a Trojan win would make life a little easier for the Bruins heading into Sunday’s game against Oregon.
But, before we start discussing that matchup, UCLA must get past the Beavers, who are led by senior center Marie Gulich. Gulich is averaging 16.0 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Oregon State has a pair of sophomore guards who also like to score. Kat Tudor is averaging 12.5 ppg while Mikayla Pivec is averaging 11.4 ppg. Pivec is also second on the team in rebounds with an average of 7.3 per game.
This is a big game tonight for the Bruins.
UCLA has lost the last four games at Gill Coliseum and the last six games against Oregon State not at Pauley. If the Bruins are able to extend their ten-game winning streak, it would definitely be a step forward for the women’s basketball program under head coach Cori Close because Oregon State has an excellent women’s basketball program and the Bruins have clearly struggled against them when not playing the Beavers at home.
While the Bruins have had a tendency to struggle against ranked teams, they’ve played well during this winning streak. If they can maintain their consistency throughout the game and steal one from the Beavers, it would probably make UCLA the team to beat for the Pac-12 title and they would be setting themselves up for a deep tournament run.
This is your UCLA Bruins at Oregon State Beavers women’s basketball open thread.