Wednesday, June 19

Bruins see defensive weakness in battle with Beavers, lose second straight game


Sophomore forward Michaela Onyenwere logged 24 points and went 8-of-9 from the free throw line, but UCLA women's basketball could not make defensive stops down the stretch to hold off No. 10 Oregon State. (Daanish Bhatti/Daily Bruin)

Sophomore forward Michaela Onyenwere logged 24 points and went 8-of-9 from the free throw line, but UCLA women's basketball could not make defensive stops down the stretch to hold off No. 10 Oregon State. (Daanish Bhatti/Daily Bruin)


Women’s basketball


No. 10 Oregon State83
UCLA73

The Bruins had won three consecutive home games against the Beavers.

But they weren’t able to come up with the win this time.

“This was the first time in a long time that in our building, they did exactly what they wanted to do,” said coach Cori Close. “We’ve been successful in the past here, really taking them out of what they wanted to do and forcing them to go to the later options, and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”

UCLA women’s basketball (9-7, 2-2) suffered an 83-73 loss to No. 10 Oregon State (13-2, 3-0) in its first conference home game Friday night. Sophomore forward Michaela Onyenwere said the team’s weakness in the game came on the defensive end. The 83 points the Beavers scored marks the second-most points scored by any opponent this season.

“In the first half it was no secret that we weren’t doing well on the offensive end, but we were still down six at that point,” Onyenwere said. “So it wasn’t anything the offense could fix.”

Onyenwere led the Bruins in scoring with 24 points and shot 8-of-20 from the field.

UCLA allowed Oregon State to shoot almost 68 percent from the field in the second half, and nearly 73 percent in the fourth quarter alone.

The Bruins kept the game close in the first half of the contest, staying within three points throughout the first period. A 3-point jumper from redshirt senior forward Lajahna Drummer 43 seconds into the game gave UCLA a 3-0 lead, but there were seven lead changes in the first half.

However, the Beavers took the lead for good after a 3-pointer by Oregon State guard Destiny Slocum with 6:05 left in the second quarter put them up 20-18.

Oregon State entered the game averaging 10.93 3s per game, but UCLA held it to just 4-of-9 shooting from behind the arc.

Close said this, along with rebounding, were some of the team’s positive takeaways, despite defensive struggles in the paint.

“I thought we chased them off the 3-point line, and I thought we actually rebounded aggressively,” Close said. “And I thought we got the ball to (Drummer and Onyenwere) inside which was a big part of our game plan.”

Drummer finished with a double-double, logging a 10 rebounds and a career-high 18 points. The forward has scored in double figures in six of the last seven games.

Senior guard Kennedy Burke also put up 18 points, leading the Bruins in scoring in the second half with 16 points despite shooting 0-6 in the first half.

Senior guard Japreece Dean – who entered the night averaging 13.2 points per game – struggled to find the net on Friday night, posting zero points and zero rebounds in 26 minutes.

UCLA entered the second half trailing 36-30. Burke and the Bruins battled back in the third – their best shooting quarter of the game – shooting 52.9 percent from the field.

UCLA would cut the lead to two 2:18 into the second half, but that would be the closest it would get.

The Beavers went on to claim their third straight Pac-12 win while the Bruins lost their second straight.

UCLA will remain at home and face No. 5 Oregon (14-1, 3-0) on Sunday. Oregon defeated USC (10-5, 0-4) 93-53 on Friday night.

Drummer said the team will have to focus on improving its defense for the upcoming game against the top-5 Ducks team.

“We talked a lot earlier about winning our own battles, so I think that’s going to be big for Sunday,” Drummer said. “Just me and you, when we have to just win that personal one-on-one battle.”

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Sports contributor

Conte is currently a contributor on the women's basketball beat.


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