This post was updated Dec. 8 at 10:26 p.m.
The best start to a season in coach Cori Close’s time in Westwood continued Saturday night.
No. 11 UCLA women’s basketball (8-0) defeated CSUN (3-7) 58-44 at the Matadome, marking UCLA’s third consecutive road victory.
The Bruins shot a season-worst 33% from the field in the game, going 3-of-21 from 3-point range. The two teams combined for 6-of-39 shooting from 3-point distance, and the Matadors shot 30% from the field in the match.
Close said the team’s mentality is important when struggling with shooting the ball.
“Any coach is going to tell you you’re going to have nights that (you) just don’t shoot it as well, and how you respond to that poor shooting is more important than the fact you are not shooting well,” Close said. “Can you create a simpler play, do you have the mindset, ‘Let’s get three straight stops?'”
After taking a 6-4 lead with 4 minutes, 57 seconds left in the first quarter, UCLA went on a 14-2 run and opened up a double-digit lead that the Bruins would hold for the rest of the first half. The Matadors went on a tear of their own later in the game, going on a 12-6 run to cut the Bruins’ lead to six with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter.
Junior forward Michaela Onyenwere scored eight points in the remainder of the game to help secure the victory, and led the Bruins with 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting.
Onyenwere – who was the only Bruin to score in double-digits – said UCLA’s performance on the defensive end is an important area to improve upon.
“At that point in the game, we just weren’t playing the defense we know we could have,” Onyenwere said. “As a leader on the team, I was trying to get us into an offensive rhythm, but it should have started on defense first. Just continue to grow in (defense), reminding our team our anchor is defense.”
Redshirt sophomore guard Lindsey Corsaro – who had started in the first seven games of the season – missed her first game of the season due to a minor injury. Junior guard Chantel Horvat and sophomore guard Kiara Jefferson did not enter the contest due to minor injury after both logged minutes in the past weekend’s Cavalier Classic.
Freshman guard Jaden Owens saw the most minutes since her UCLA debut against Weber State, but was the only Bruin not to score in the contest, attempting two field goals.
The former five-star recruit said she does not go out of her way to score when she’s running the point, instead looking to distribute the ball.
“Knowing the role that I’m not the only one that needs to score, and we have so many scorers on the team, it’s just getting them the shots that they need,” Owens said. “Being a point guard, I want to set them up for success, get the shot that they need.”
Senior forward Ally Rosenblum made her season debut Saturday after missing the opening seven games with a back injury. She chipped in three points in 11 minutes of action.
UCLA will return to Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 15 after its three-game road trip, tipping off at 2 p.m.