This morning, the UCLA women’s basketball team plays a rare weekday morning game when they face the #16 Arizona State Sun Devils in Tempe at 10 am PT. The Sun Devils are the Bruins’ fifth Top 25 opponent in their last six games.
Last Time Out
Ugh. It was another loss for the Bruins on Sunday when they squared off against Southern Cal. After losing to the Bruins’ crosstown rival 72-67 on Sunday, UCLA women’s basketball coach Cori Close tweeted this:
I’m really hurting about this loss. I will be relentless in responding & leading in an expectant manner of what we will become. But I’m so grateful 4 these alumni. They are all things good about UCLA. We deeply appreciate you. We want to represent you well. TY for your support. https://t.co/3sna2YlE9c— Cori Close (@CoachCloseUCLA) January 21, 2019
Sunday’s game against the Trojans was essentially over before it really began as Southern Cal jumped out to a 4-0 lead almost immediately. After that, the Bruins were able to tie the score three times over the course of the game, but Southern Cal never trailed the Bruins.
One of the times UCLA tied the game was with just under five minutes to go in the first quarter when a Michaela Onyenwere layup made the score 7-7. In the final five minutes of the quarter, the Bruins trailed by as many as seven points and, in fact, that’s also what they trailed by at the end of the quarter, 19-12.
UCLA started the second quarter with a 7-0 run to tie it at 19-19 just over two minutes into the quarter. While the Trojans re-took the lead, they never led by more than four points throughout the rest of the half and they took a two-point lead into the locker room, 32-30.
After the break, the Bruins again managed to tie the game back up, 32-32, but the rest of the third quarter belonged to Southern Cal. The Trojans again re-took the lead and eventually stretched it to double digits. With 2:11 left in the third, they had their biggest lead of the game to that point at 11 points, 51-40.
In the fourth quarter, UCLA attempted to comeback and, while they succeeded at cutting the Southern Cal lead to as few as two points on a couple of occasions, the Bruins just couldn’t tie it up again, much less actually take a lead and Southern Cal picked up a 72-67 win.
Onyenwere led the Bruins with 22 points. Her 12 rebounds gave her a double-double for the sixth time this season. Lindsay Cordero added 15 points while Kennedy Burke was also in double figures with 14. Lajahna Drummer added 10 rebounds.
Arizona State Sun Devils
The Sun Devils come into this morning’s game having beaten Oregon State on the road last weekend, but they are just 4-3 in conference play. The only Sun Devil averaging in double figures is Kianna Ibis, who is averaging 14.7 ppg. ASU’s second-best scorer is Courtney Ekmark who is averaging just 9.4 ppg.
ASU’s strength looks to be defense as the Sun Devils are allowing an average of 58 points per game to their opponents.
The Bruins are aveaging more than 70 points per game. If they are able to get their offense going and score at least that many, they’ll have a shot to pull this one out.
But, UCLA has lost each game where they scored less than 70.
That said, I still think the Sun Devils will prove to be too much for the Bruins this morning.