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UCLA women’s basketball falls to Oregon State in teams’ 1st matchup of season

Senior forward Lauryn Miller put in 13 points and five rebounds in No. 8 UCLA women’s basketball’s loss to Oregon State. Miller was the team’s second-leading scorer while shooting a season-high 15 shot attempts. (Ashley Kenney/Assistant Photo editor)

Women’s Basketball

Oregon State71
No. 8 UCLA64

By Gavin Carlson

Feb. 21, 2021 3:21 p.m.

This post was updated Feb. 21 at 4:40 p.m.

After a 27-point win Friday, the Bruins were a different team Sunday afternoon.

No. 8 UCLA women’s basketball (13-4, 11-4 Pac-12) fell to Oregon State (8-6, 6-6) 71-64 in Pauley Pavilion after an 83-56 win over then-No. 13 Oregon two days prior. The 71 Beaver points were tied for the highest scoring total against the Bruins this season.

Senior forward Michaela Onyenwere, who led UCLA with 19 points and 6-of-6 shooting from the free-throw line, said the previous win had no impact on Sunday’s game. 

“Going into Oregon we expected to win, so there wasn’t going to be some sort of big hurrah that we beat them,” Onyenwere said. “I think there was a lack of focus from us that we just have to learn to get better from and move forward from it.”

After UCLA scored only six points midway through the opening period, the end of the first quarter was all Onyenwere – she scored all eight points in UCLA’s 8-0 run during the last 3:31 of the period. Onyenwere was responsible for all but one of the team’s made field goals and finished with 10 in the quarter to lead the Bruins to an 18-13 lead.

Oregon State responded to Onyenwere’s run with a run of its own to start the second quarter, as a 3-pointer from guard Aleah Goodman capped a 16-4 start in the first 5:19 of the period. Goodman scored seven points in the second quarter and finished with a game-high 20 points.

The Bruins continued to rely on individual runs to keep pace with the Beavers. UCLA made three straight jumpers from senior forward Lauryn Miller, but a made pull-up jumper at the 7:15 mark from sophomore guard Charisma Osborne was the only other made field goal of the quarter in the midst of a 4-of-17 second-quarter shooting performance.

Oregon State outscored UCLA 23-13 in the second quarter behind nine made field goals from a combined five players. The balanced scoring effort and 24-19 rebounding advantage put the Beavers up 36-31 at half against a Bruin team shooting 25.7%.

Coach Cori Close said poor shooting before the game negatively affected her team’s mindset throughout the game, resulting in an uncharacteristic performance overall.

“The staff said we didn’t shoot very well in warmups and we let it affect our energy and our togetherness and our talk,” Close said. “That really showed on the court and we splintered way too much. That’s not what Bruins do. … That’s not our culture.”

After its second-lowest scoring first half of the season, UCLA forced four turnovers that resulted in seven points in the third quarter, helping the Bruins outscore the Beavers 21-15. UCLA also continued to rely on free throws, shooting a perfect 17-17 from the line through the first three periods to counter Oregon State’s 32-18 scoring advantage in the paint.

An Osborne floater with just seconds left in the third quarter put the Bruins up 52-51 heading into the final period. UCLA’s leading scorer coming into the game, Osborne started 1-of-12 from the field before the last-second make.

But Osborne would make only one more shot the rest of the game as the Bruins’ struggles from the field continued in the fourth quarter. The team’s three leading scorers – Miller, Onyenwere and Osborne – shot a combined 4-of-19 in the final period with the Bruins shooting 5-of-24 as a team to complete UCLA’s second-worst shooting performance of the season on 21-76 shooting overall.

Sophomore guard Camryn Brown left the game less than five minutes into the game, leading to a combined 54 of the team’s 76 shot attempts coming from the trio of leading scorers.

Close said the unbalanced shooting output is unsustainable heading into postseason play.

“We’ve got to have more balance,” Close said. “That’s the thing that we talked about on Friday that was so great, that we had grown in, is that we were finding more consistent balance with more and more people. No, I don’t think that’s sustainable.”

The Bruins attempted 10 3s in the fourth quarter after taking just 12 in the first three quarters combined and didn’t shoot a single free throw as they were outscored 20-12 in the final period. 

Redshirt junior guard Lindsey Corsaro said Close challenged the team to learn from this loss as the postseason nears.

“We have one more regular season game; … from here on out, if you lose, you’re done in some capacities,” Corsaro said. “(Close) really just challenged us like, ‘How much is this going to teach us? How are we going to use this for something for good?’”

With the loss, the Bruins fall two games back from No. 10 Arizona and four games back from No. 6 Stanford in the Pac-12. UCLA is scheduled to conclude its regular season with a home matchup against crosstown rival USC next Sunday.

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Gavin Carlson | Sports contributor
Carlson is currently a contributor on the women's basketball and softball beats.
Carlson is currently a contributor on the women's basketball and softball beats.
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