While one streak lives on, another dies.
Going for their its 11th win in a row, No. 7 UCLA women’s basketball (21-5, 12-3 Pac-12) saw its streak cut short by No. 15 Oregon State (20-6, 11-4 Pac-12) in overtime, losing 67-64. It was the Bruins’ fifth straight loss in Corvallis, Oregon, despite dominating the Beavers 84-49 when they visited Pauley Pavillion in January.
Friday night’s game featured 15 total lead changes and eight ties. UCLA led for 22:33, while Oregon State only led for 14:30, but the Bruins’ shooting percentage of 33.3 helped sink them in the end.
UCLA had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, getting the ball with 25 seconds left after Beavers guard Katie McWilliams hit a jump shot to knot the score at 55 apiece. However, junior guard Japreece Dean’s 3-point attempt with four seconds remaining was blocked by forward Taya Corosdale, giving the Beavers one last chance before overtime.
Oregon State gave the ball to guard Kat Tudor, who threw up a half-court prayer that rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.
While the Bruins took an early 5-point lead in overtime, Oregon State outscored UCLA four to nothing in the final 1:19 of the game. UCLA had an opportunity to tie the game with 34 seconds left, but both junior guard Kennedy Burke and senior guard Jordin Canada missed 3-pointers that would have forced a second overtime.
“I thought I could have caught it and shot it the first time when (Dean) passed it to me on the wing. I hesitated a little bit and made it harder on myself,” Canada said. “There’s always things that you can do better in the moment, but I thought, at that time, I still got off a good shot.”
Canada was aggressive out of the gates, taking 12 shots in the first half. She finished nine-of-25 from the field, as the senior sat only two minutes the entire game.
On her team’s final possession, coach Cori Close elected not to use her final timeout, and instead put the game in the hands of Canada. While she said she remains confident in Canada and her decision, Close said she recognized that mistakes may have been made down the stretch.
“Just like I’ll expect the players to learn from every situation, it’s my responsibility to learn from every situation as a coach, because it didn’t turn out as well. I probably would have a called the timeout,” Close said.
Redshirt junior forward Lajahna Drummer was a standout for the Bruins down low, racking up 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Her running mate in the frontcourt, senior forward Monique Billings, said she was proud of her teammate’s effort on the boards.
“(Drummer) was getting rebounds at the end of the game. I’m like ‘Woah, how did she get that?’” Billings said. “I’m really proud of her and her fight on the boards. It was definitely a battle, but we knew that coming into the game.”
The Beavers outrebounded the Bruins by four, a common theme in the Bruins’ losses this season. In their five losses, UCLA has been outrebounded four times, and only won the rebound battle by one in its loss to Oklahoma State in December.
While she did account for a team-leading 12 rebounds, Billings struggled from the field, shooting just four-of-12, well below her season percentage of 46.4.
The schedule won’t be getting any easier for UCLA, as it has to take on No. 9 Oregon on Monday. Prior to their loss, the Bruins were in a three-way tie atop the Pac-12. Now, they no longer control their own destiny, as both Stanford and Oregon are a game up on UCLA with just three games to go.
As one of the team’s leaders, Canada isn’t worried about how her team will recover from Friday’s overtime loss.
“I don’t really have to tell my team much,” Canada said. “We know what’s on the line here, and we know we have to come back and be aggressive.”
The Bruins will take on the Ducks on Monday night in Eugene, Oregon, at 7 p.m. on ESPN.