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UCLA women’s basketball’s Charisma Osborne scores season-high 32 points, beats Cal

Graduate student guard Charisma Osborne pulls up for a jumper on the court. Osborne scored 32 points against the Golden Bears, and is now in third place in all-time points scored for the Bruins. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Women’s Basketball


No. 7 UCLA78
California58

By Lauryn Olina Wang

Feb. 2, 2024 9:39 p.m.

This post was updated Feb. 2 at 9:57 p.m.

BERKELEY – Charisma Osborne is averaging 15 points per game this season.

But in Friday night’s masterclass, it took her less than 17 minutes to meet that mark. 

At 30 points with 3:21 to play in the third quarter, she shook her head as she strode off of the court to her teammates’ embrace. 

“Bottom line: I have Charisma, they don’t,” said coach Cori Close.

Behind Osborne’s 32-points – 21 of which came in the first half – No. 7 UCLA women’s basketball (17-3, 6-3 Pac-12) completed a nearly wire-to-wire 78-58 victory over California (13-9, 3-7) in Haas Pavilion. With the win, the Bruins move to a tie for third in the Pac-12 ahead of their top-10 matchup against No. 4 Stanford on Sunday. 

“Once the first couple went in I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll keep doing that,’” Osborne said. “I try my best to be a three-level scorer so that I can shoot on the outside, get to the basket and also the mid range.”

In the absence of sophomore center Lauren Betts for the third consecutive game because of undisclosed medical reasons, Osborne put the Bruins on her back from the jump.

She went 5-of-7 for 11 points in the first quarter to stretch UCLA’s lead to 18-11 early. Then, drawing three fouls in quick succession, Osborne extinguished any sliver of momentum for Cal.

Without 6-foot-7 Betts, the Bruins leaned heavily on a quartet of forwards to stay competitive in the rebounding battle. Senior forward Angela Dugalić, sophomore forwards Christeen Iwuala and Lina Sontag each grabbed three rebounds, while sophomore forward Gabriela Jaquez contributed four points in the first half. 

When the Golden Bears came within two points in the second frame off of a three-point play courtesy of forward Ugonne (Michelle) Onyiah – and staying within striking distance in part by outrebounding the Bruins – it was again Osborne who stepped up.

The veteran sank one midrange jumper after another, bringing her point total to a first-half season high. Behind Osborne’s 21 points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal, UCLA closed out the half on a 10-0 run to bring the score to 32-20.

“I could tell really early on she was feeling in the rhythm, in the zone,” Close said. “At that point, I need to get her the ball in spots that I know she likes and let her make plays.”

Sophomore guard Londynn Jones dribbles against a defender. Jones scored 18 points in Berkeley and went 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)

The Bruins’ lead ballooned to 51-36 in the third frame, courtesy of Osborne’s nine points and scoring contributions from Dugalić, Iwuala and Jaquez. Sophomore guard Londynn Jones – the shortest player on the court – crashed the glass for three rebounds of her own. 

At the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter, Iwuala battled Cal forward Marta Suárez for the rebound, resulting in a jump ball as the Bruin wrestled the Golden Bear to the ground. Cal had cut the lead to single digits and appeared primed for a resurgence.

“That play with Christeen, she was so hyped,” Osborne said. “That just got us so motivated on defense to go and get stops, and we were getting easy baskets two possessions in a row.”

That’s when Jones had her say.

In a seven-second stretch, she sank a 3-pointer on the right wing and converted a gutsy three-point play after splitting the lane.

And the Bruins continued to fire from deep.

“I just believe in Londynn Jones so much,” Close said. “She’s got to have that dog, that chip that she flourishes under. … I really challenged her at halftime, this is your half, new half, let’s get after this thing. And she really did respond.”

After Dugalić launched a 3-pointer – her third of the game on a .500 clip – and it swished through the net, she backpedaled down the court smiling.

When Jones then sank her own third 3-pointer, she collected her 100th career make from beyond the arc. UCLA completely opened up the game 73-54 with three minutes to play, and Osborne subsequently subbed out for the final time. 

Following her clinic in Friday’s game, Osborne moved to third on UCLA’s all-time scoring list.

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Lauryn Olina Wang | Sports senior staff
Wang is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the women’s basketball, men’s basketball, NIL and football beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s golf and track and field beats, reporter on the women’s basketball beat and contributor on the men’s and women’s golf beats. Wang is also a fourth-year history major and community engagement and social change minor.
Wang is currently a Sports senior staff writer on the women’s basketball, men’s basketball, NIL and football beats. She was previously an assistant Sports editor on the women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s golf and track and field beats, reporter on the women’s basketball beat and contributor on the men’s and women’s golf beats. Wang is also a fourth-year history major and community engagement and social change minor.
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