Tuesday, March 21, 2023

AdvertiseDonateSubmit
NewsSportsArtsOpinionThe QuadPhotoVideoIllustrationsCartoonsGraphicsThe StackPRIMEEnterpriseInteractivesPodcastsBruinwalkClassifieds

IN THE NEWS:

March Madness

Growth of freshmen key for UCLA women’s basketball in upcoming games

Forward Michaela Onyenwere is averaging 12.5 points and eight rebounds per game this season. After struggling against Presbyterian on Sunday, UCLA women’s basketball will need the freshman to bounce back in the coming weeks, when they will face No. 3 Baylor and No. 1 Connecticut. (Eljona Piñon/Daily Bruin)

By Sam Connon

Nov. 15, 2017 1:06 a.m.

With matchups against two top-three teams ahead, the Bruins are going to need some more help from their freshman class.

No. 8 UCLA women’s basketball had one of the highest-ranked freshman classes in the country headed into 2017, reeling in three top-40 recruits.

The headliner of the class, ESPN’s No. 10 recruit forward Michaela Onyenwere, led the team with 14 points in the team’s preseason exhibition against Vanguard. She carried that momentum into the season opener, scoring 19 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.

However, Onyenwere took a step back in the win against Presbyterian on Sunday, shooting just two-of-four in 20 minutes.

“College is a different ball game than high school, high school’s a little slower,” Onyenwere said. “College is coming at you all the time, there are new plays every other practice.”

Freshman guard Chantel Horvat, who was ESPN’s No. 15 recruit, has shown similar promise. Horvat is shooting 75 percent from the field, showing off her refined ability to score from everywhere on the court.

Averaging just 15 minutes per game, Horvat acknowledges there is still a long road ahead of her.

“Every week, I think my whole game should be improved,” Horvat said. “No matter what, I’m always going to be working on everything.”

web.sp.wbb.nbk.11.15.ADX.jpg
Despite only scoring 11 points this season, Freshman guard Kayla Owens’ playmaking ability has made her a staple in the lineup for the Bruins. She is averaging nearly 15 minutes per game off the bench. (Amy Dixon/Assistant Photo editor)

Freshman guard Kayla Owens, who was ranked 37th in her recruiting class, is also looking to find her stride. Owens is averaging just more than 5 points per game this season, and is adapting to the college learning curve as well.

“I’ve learned so much between college and high school,” Owens said. “It’s not even comparable at all. It’s a big awakening.”

Coach Cori Close expressed frustration with her freshmen, sending them a stern message after the win Sunday.

“Every freshman in the country feels this way,” Close said. “You’re going to feel overwhelmed. So what? Get better.”

Despite their struggles, Close is still excited to see how the freshmen grow and contribute moving forward.

“We have a lot of inexperience out there,” Close said. “I’m really excited about it for the future, but it’s a little bit of organized chaos right now.”

UCLA will play its next two games against No. 3 Baylor and No. 1 Connecticut, which will be a major learning opportunity for the young Bruins.

“Obviously, it’s a great opportunity,” Close said. “This tells us where we are in our trajectory, and we just need to keep growing every game.”

Share this story:FacebookTwitterRedditEmail
Sam Connon | Alumnus
Connon joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2017 and contributed until he graduated in 2021. He was the Sports editor for the 2019-2020 academic year, an assistant Sports editor for the 2018-2019 academic year and spent time on the football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, men's soccer, cross country, men's golf and women's golf beats, while also contributing movie reviews for Arts & Entertainment.
Connon joined the Bruin as a freshman in 2017 and contributed until he graduated in 2021. He was the Sports editor for the 2019-2020 academic year, an assistant Sports editor for the 2018-2019 academic year and spent time on the football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, men's soccer, cross country, men's golf and women's golf beats, while also contributing movie reviews for Arts & Entertainment.
COMMENTS
Featured Classifieds
Condo/Townhouse for Rent

Furnished Room to Rent in Century City Condo. $1500/month. 2 blocks from Westfield mall. Queen bed, TV, wifi, access to living room and kitchen areas, private bathroom, private balcony, full gym on first floor, outdoor heated jacuzzi, secure underground parking space. Available April 1st Cliff @ 310-666-7003 [email protected]

More classifieds »
Related Posts