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Women’s basketball bests Arizona, increasing winning streak to 14

Junior guard Chantel Horvat played a season-high 24 minutes in No. 10 UCLA women’s basketball’s win over No. 18 Arizona, posting 10 points and 10 rebounds on the night. (Joy Hong/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Women's Basketball

No. 18 Arizona58
No. 10 UCLA70

By Michael Waldman

January 5, 2020 9:19 pm

The game was tied at the start of the third quarter. A 3-pointer ricocheted off the rim. Freshman guard Charisma Osborne hustled for the ball, soared through the air for the rebound, and the Bruins hit their first of four consecutive 3s.

“(Osborne went) from the left corner all the way to the right corner to run down an offensive rebound and get us an extra possession,” said coach Cori Close. “(The offensive rebound) set the tone for the kind of hustle that was going to take place the rest of the half.”

No. 10 UCLA women’s basketball (14-0, 3-0 Pac-12) defeated No. 18 Arizona (13-1, 2-1) 70-58 on Sunday in Pauley Pavilion, continuing its best start to a season in program history. After entering the second half tied 31-31, the Bruins outscored the Wildcats 39-27 to hand Arizona its first loss of the season.

Osborne, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored eight points in the third quarter and finished the contest with 10 points on 3-of-5 shooting. Osborne, along with redshirt senior guard Japreece Dean and sophomore guard Kiara Jefferson, were all tasked with stopping the Pac-12’s leading scorer, guard Aari McDonald.

Despite opening the game 3-of-12 from the field, McDonald led all scorers with 19 points and tacked on seven rebounds and six assists on the afternoon.

“(McDonald) is just such a creative scorer; her conditioning is marvelous,” Close said. “I’m very proud of (Dean, Osborne and Jefferson). Those were the three people that rotated through her – (guarding McDonald) was not going to be a one-person thing.”

Entering the contest, Arizona boasted the best scoring defense in the country, allowing only 45.4 points per game. The Bruins shot 50% from the field in the second half, and scored the most points by any Arizona opponent this season.

In the first quarter, however, UCLA committed seven turnovers – three of which came on traveling violations – and finished the game having turned the ball over a season-high 18 times.

The Bruins also attempted 23 free throws in the game, but left 12 points on the free throw line, shooting just 30.8% from the charity stripe in the first half.

Freshman guard Jaden Owens and junior guard Chantel Horvat – who entered Sunday’s game a combined 3-of-27 on 3-pointers – combined for three 3-pointers. The Bruins exceeded 40% shooting from long-range for the third consecutive game, and the fourth time this season.

UCLA was plus-22 when Horvat was on the floor, and she scored 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting. Horvat said the team conversation at halftime revolved around grit.

“(The team) just spoke about toughness, hustling after every single play, and making sure that (the team) was aggressive to rebound and get every loose ball,” Horvat said.

Junior forward Michaela Onyenwere – the Pac-12’s second-leading scorer – posted her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds, including four offensive boards.

Junior forward Lauryn Miller – the team’s second-leading rebounder – chipped in three offensive rebounds of her own after recording five Friday against Arizona State.

“(Rebounding) is something that the coaches have really talked to me about, just using my IQ and being able to track the ball as it comes off,” Miller said. “I know that my teammates are going to take big shots, and they’re not going to all drop, so they need me to be willing to get on the glass.”

Jefferson played for the first time since Dec. 1 against Virginia because of an injury, and was held scoreless on two shots, while freshman guard Camryn Brown did not see the floor after playing in four of the last five games.

UCLA will play its first conference road game Friday, taking on Utah in Salt Lake City.

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Michael Waldman | Assistant Sports editor
Waldman is currently an assistant Sports editor on the men's soccer, men's volleyball, women's volleyball, beach volleyball and track and field beats. He was previously a reporter on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
Waldman is currently an assistant Sports editor on the men's soccer, men's volleyball, women's volleyball, beach volleyball and track and field beats. He was previously a reporter on the women's basketball and beach volleyball beats.
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