UCLA women’s basketball to face San Jose State at home after road losses
Graduate student guard Natalie Chou dribbles the ball away from Pepperdine forward Kendyl Carson during a matchup Nov. 10. Chou has averaged a career-high 10.5 points per game through six games this season. (Lauren Man/Daily Bruin senior staff)
San Jose State
Sunday, 2 p.m.
UCLA Live Stream
Dec. 3, 2021 4:17 p.m.
The Bruins will be back at home this weekend with a chance to bounce back from their first two losses of the season.
UCLA women’s basketball (4-2) will face San Jose State (3-4) on Sunday after going 1-2 at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida last weekend. The Bruins dropped back-to-back games against Kent State and South Dakota State before beating St. John’s and subsequently fell out of the AP Top 25 poll for the first time since 2019.
The Bruins last faced the Spartans during the 2017-2018 season, setting a school record for points scored in game with a 129-69 season-opening victory. Despite the result from the team’s last meeting, coach Cori Close said she knows the blue and gold will need to rise to the occasion to respond to San Jose State’s fast-paced offense.
“They’re going to play fast, they’re going to shoot threes and they’re going to create more possessions,” Close said. “We have to get better individually and collectively. We need to grow every game, every day, every rep … after what got exposed in Florida.”
For the season, San Jose State has averaged 7.6 3-pointers per contest. During last weekend’s showcase, UCLA’s opponents averaged 6.3 makes from distance.
In the Bruins’ first loss of the season, the Golden Flashes went 7-of-13 from beyond the arc in the first half and outscored the blue and gold 28-18 in the paint. Close said while her players lacked consistency and toughness, foul trouble and fatigue toward the end of the three-day showcase also factored into the losses.
Junior guard Charisma Osborne, UCLA’s leading scorer, committed three fouls in the first minute and a half of the fourth quarter against South Dakota State and logged four fouls in each of the team’s two defeats. Redshirt senior guard Kayla Owens fouled out against Kent State, a challenge in a rotation already short due to injuries.
“We did let the refs get the best of us mentally and emotionally,” Close said. “There’s a lot more they can do than they realize – they can play without fouling, and they can play with discipline, and they can play aggressively.”
While her teammates battled foul trouble in Florida, graduate student guard Natalie Chou committed one foul per game and said she wants to work on sustaining her toughness on the court for Sunday’s game.
“I’m just going to continue to stay aggressive,” Chou said. “Sometimes I can be kind of complacent on the court, but every minute I’m in the game, I just want to be a threat offensively and defensively.”
Another veteran player, redshirt senior guard Chantel Horvat, said the Gulf Coast Showcase taught the Bruins that they need to rise to the occasion by putting in the work on the court.
“There were a lot of takeaways from our Florida trip,” Horvat said. “I think the biggest one for us was that we just have to play hard. … It’s just about putting it into play and controlling the effort and the hustle plays. Just playing harder than our opponents will be the biggest thing for us this weekend.”
UCLA leads San Jose 6-0 since their first matchup in 1976, and the Bruins will tip off against the Spartans at 2 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion on Sunday.