The Bruins haven’t beaten a top-10 team this season, but they have the chance to do so Friday.
UCLA women’s basketball (16-10, 9-5 Pac-12) will have the opportunity to avenge losses to No. 2 Oregon (24-2, 13-1) and No. 12 Oregon State (21-5, 11-3) when it visits the two teams this weekend.
Coach Cori Close said the Bruins will have to mix things up and adjust defensively from the last time they faced the Ducks.
“(Oregon) is the best offensive team in the country,” Close said. “The reality is that their guards are so good. They are excellent passers, they are excellent shooters, they know how to find each other.”
The last time UCLA faced Oregon, the Ducks defeated the Bruins 72-52. UCLA shot 35 percent against Oregon’s zone defense, going just 3-of-12 from beyond the arc.
The Ducks outrebounded the Bruins 21-14 on the offensive glass, cashing them in for 25 second-chance points.
“We know that that is an area that we obviously did poor in when we played them the first time,” said redshirt senior forward Lajahna Drummer. “So it’s just making that adjustment and not letting them get that many, or at all.”
Oregon is coming off two consecutive games – known as the “Civil War series” – against rival Oregon State. The Ducks won the first contest 77-68, but fell to the Beavers 67-62 in the second.
Oregon forward Ruthy Hebard, who put up 19 points against UCLA the last time the teams met, is unlikely to play Friday due to an injury sustained in the second game against Oregon State.
But Bruin sophomore forward Lauryn Miller said the Ducks are still just as dangerous offensively without Hebard.
“We know that they still attack the basket really well without (Hebard),” Miller said. “So we definitely have to make sure that we lock in on their guards and their key go-to players. And we are still planning, whether she is in or out, to cover those 3-pointers and those layups.”
Oregon State will enter Sunday’s contest against UCLA fresh off a matchup with USC (15-10, 5-9) on Friday.
The Beavers defeated the Bruins 83-73 in their last battle, shooting 72 percent from the field in the fourth quarter alone and 56 percent for the game.
Oregon State is ranked second in 3-point shooting percentage in the conference and averages nine 3-pointers per contest.
“The reality is, Oregon State is a great 3-point shooting team,” Close said. “They execute extremely well, and we were not able to disrupt their execution down here. … That is going to be a key factor – us being able to disrupt that execution, get more deflections off passes, (and) pressure their guards.”
UCLA will take on Oregon at 8 p.m. Friday and will face Oregon State at 1 p.m. Sunday.