This afternoon, the UCLA Women’s Basketball team will honor seniors Jordin Canada, Monique Billings and Kelli Hayes, all of whom will be playing in their final regularly-scheduled home game this afternoon when the Bruins meet the Utes.
Even though the Bruins won on Thursday night against Colorado, 73-67, UCLA was eliminated from the Pac-12 regular season championship last night when Oregon beat Arizona State, 57-44. If UCLA wins today, they would finish in either second or third, depending on how Stanford does tomorrow.
Even if the Bruins were to lose today, they’ve guaranteed that that they will finish no lower than fourth and will receive a first round bye in the Pac-12 Women’s Tournament next weekend in Seattle.
On Thursday, the game was probably a lot closer than Cori Close would like, given that the Bruins beat the Buffs by 38 points on the road in January. In fact, the Bruins almost experienced a 4th quarter collapse after leading for the entire game.
From the very first basket, UCLA took the lead and never gave it up in the first three quarters. In fact, they took their biggest lead of the game, 13 points, just as the third quarter was ending and it was still a 13-point lead with 8:38 to go in the fourth. That’s when the Buffaloes started to mount a comeback. Colorado went on a 9-0 run to cut the UCLA lead to just four with 5:51 left.
Chantel Horvat hit a three to increase the Bruin lead back to 7, but Alexis Robinson answered with a three of her own to make it a 4-point game again. Lajahna Drummer was fouled and made one of her two free throws while Canada added a field goal to stretch UCLA’s lead back to 7 again. But Colorado went on a 7-0 run to tie the game for the first time with 1:31 left.
UCLA finished strong, however, with a three-pointer from Kennedy Burke and six made free throws while only allowing three points to the Buffs, allowing the Bruins to come away with a six-point win, 73-67.
Across town, the Utah Utes fell to Southern Cal in overtime, 53-52. The loss dropped the Utes to 8-9 in conference play and, so, expect the Utes to be looking to get a win this afternoon to finish at .500.
They probably won’t get it, however, because the Bruins are very tough at home and, after Thursday night’s game, they are 43-3 at Pauley since 2015-2016.
This is your UCLA Bruins vs. Utah Utes women’s basketball open thread.