UCLA women’s basketball curtails Washington State Cougars to complete road sweep
Graduate student guard Gina Conti stays focused as a defender. Conti provided a seven-point spark for the Bruins in the opening frame and ended the afternoon with 12 points and four rebounds. (Anika Chakrabarti/Photo editor)
|No. 9 UCLA||73|
By Leila Bivins
Jan. 22, 2023 2:43 p.m.
This post was updated Jan. 22 at 10:34 p.m.
In a game shaped by makes from deep, the Bruins pulled away with the win in Pullman.
No. 9 UCLA women’s basketball (17-3, 6-2 Pac-12) defeated Washington State (13-6, 3-5) away on Sunday afternoon by a score of 73-66. Supported by its highest 3-point percentage in conference play this year, the blue and gold kept the Cougars’ 57% shooting clip from deep at bay as five Bruins posted double figures in scoring.
UCLA opened the game with a 20-point quarter, compared to its five-point performance against Washington in the first frame. Seven of the 10 Bruins found the bottom of the net, but leading scorer in senior guard Charisma Osborne was quiet with zero points.
On the other end of the court, the Bruins established dominance by forcing five turnovers and limiting the Cougars to a 20% field goal percentage.
However, the Cougars kept within striking distance in the second frame with a 7-0 run to close the gap to one, the closest deficit since the opening minutes of the game. The Cougars assumed their first lead of the game by cashing in on a layup to bring the score to 27-28.
Both teams endured a nearly three-minute scoring drought before a 3-pointer from freshman forward Gabriela Jaquez put UCLA back in the lead. Washington State then knotted the game at 30 points with another look inside.
With 18 seconds left on the clock, the Bruins earned the last say in the half. Osborne took the ball down the court and knocked down the last-second shot, her first points of the game coming at the buzzer.
UCLA opened the second half gaining an early lead with the help of two 3-pointers from redshirt sophomore forward Emily Bessoir, but Washington State entered with a hot hand as well, shooting 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point range.
The Bruins were able to get some more separation with a quick 8-0 run as Osborne fired back-to-back 3-pointers. The Bruins went 5-of-8 from deep in the third quarter to finish the frame with a seven-point lead.
The third 3-pointer from Bessoir in the fourth quarter gave UCLA its largest lead of the game at 11 points, forcing Washington State to take its first timeout of the game.
The Cougars inched their way back into the game with an eight-point run that started with a layup off of a third-chance shot. Freshman guard Kiki Rice ended the Bruins’ drought with a pull-up jumper, but the Cougars responded immediately to bring the lead back to three.
UCLA turned the ball over with less than a minute remaining but was bailed out by an offensive foul, making it a two-possession game and UCLA ball. Osborne, the veteran, took control by drawing the foul and knocking down both free throws to give the team a five-point lead with 19 seconds left in the game.
The Bruins did not allow the Cougars to score again and finished with a seven-point advantage to complete their Washington road sweep.