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UCLA women’s basketball loses second game of the season to Utah in overtime

Sophomore forward Gabriela Jaquez dribbles down the court. Jaquez scored a game-high 21 points against the Utes on Monday afternoon. (Brandon Morquecho/Assistant Photo editor)

Women’s Basketball


No. 2 UCLA81
No. 16 Utah94

By Gavin Carlson

Jan. 22, 2024 7:16 p.m.

This post was updated Jan. 23 at 10:54 p.m.

For the second consecutive season, a last-second basket helped sink the Bruins in Salt Lake City.

Last year, Utah forward Alissa Pili scored the game-winning layup with less than a second remaining to take down UCLA. She went on to win Pac-12 Player of the Year that season.

But despite entering the game ranking seventh in the nation in scoring, it wasn’t Pili who broke the Bruins’ hearts this time around.

Leading 72-70 in the final seconds of regulation, No. 2 UCLA women’s basketball (15-2, 4-2 Pac-12) allowed a wide-open layup from guard Inês Vieira to send the game into overtime before ultimately falling 94-81 to No. 16 Utah (14-5, 4-3). Despite holding Pili – who scored 37 points in a win over then-No. 6 USC on Friday – without a field goal through the opening 24 minutes, the Bruins gave up a season-high 13 3-pointers and were outscored 22-9 in the extra five-minute period.

Coach Cori Close said graduate student guard Charisma Osborne made a mistake guarding the inbounder in the play that led to the game-tying layup at the end of regulation.

“Charisma was up on the ball and the one thing you can’t let happen is it go down the baseline side – the sideline,” Close said. “We did let the ball go down the sideline. When we’re up on the ball, we got to always be making the ball go the other direction, especially with only four seconds. … Charisma was the first one to take ownership and say (there were) too many mental errors.”

Trailing by three heading into the third quarter, the Bruins had their worst defensive quarter of the season.

UCLA gave up 28 points in a quarter for the first time this year, allowing Utah to make 10 of its 15 shots and four of its seven 3-pointers. Pili finally converted a pair of field goals, but it was forward Dasia Young’s eight points on 2-of-2 shooting from behind the arc that led the Utes.

Young entered the fourth quarter with 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from behind the arc to lead Utah from deep and give her team a nine-point lead heading into the fourth.

Close said her team could have done a better job contesting the Utes’ 3-point shooters.

“We definitely had some defensive errors on the backside rotations and we just didn’t get close enough,” Close said. “We had to do more than one thing and we weren’t quite able to close the gap quick enough.”

After the defensive struggles in the third period, the Bruins responded with one of their best defensive quarters of the season. 

UCLA held Utah to 3-of-14 shooting from the field and forced six turnovers in the quarter to erase the deficit. A layup from graduate student guard Camryn Brown with 54 seconds left gave the visitors a one-point lead.

The Bruins then blocked Pili twice in the closing 45 seconds, including a go-ahead attempt with six seconds to go. But after Brown split a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining, Vieira finished the game-tying layup.

In overtime, UCLA was dominated on both ends of the floor.

The Bruins shot 1-of-5 from 3-point range and allowed eight points off of four turnovers. The Utes also went 15-of-16 from the free throw line in the extra period to end the game on an 8-0 run and earn the 13-point overtime victory.

Sophomore guard Kiki Rice dribbles the ball while directing the play. Rice scored 16 points against the Utes but found herself in trouble with four personal fouls and eight turnovers. (Brandon Morquecho/Assistant Photo editor)

Despite Pili’s struggles, Utah outplayed UCLA both inside the paint and behind the arc throughout the first half.

The Bruins entered the contest leading the nation in rebounding margin, but the Utes outrebounded them through the opening 20 minutes – including an 11-5 advantage in the opening period.

With a slight positive margin on the boards, Utah drilled seven of its 13 3-pointers in the first half on 46.7% shooting. Young drained both of her first-quarter attempts from behind the arc, giving her team a six-point lead in the first quarter and a 3-point lead at half. 

UCLA, meanwhile, shot 40.7% from the field in the opening half but was held to 32 first-half points without its usual advantage on second-chance points. 

The Bruins had better offensive performances in both the third and fourth quarters, but it ultimately wasn’t enough in their second defeat in their last three contests.

Close said she wants to be the one who takes the most accountability following the loss.

“I thought we showed a lot of guts to come back, to put us in a position where I felt like we should’ve won the game,” Close said. “In the last minute and a half, I have to take responsibility as a coach. I will always take the brunt of the responsibility that we got to close that out.”

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Gavin Carlson | Sports staff
Carlson is currently a staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. He was previously a reporter on the softball and men's golf beats.
Carlson is currently a staff writer on the football, men's basketball and women's basketball beats. He was previously a reporter on the softball and men's golf beats.
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