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‘Tonight was really embarrassing’: UCLA women’s basketball crushed by Stanford

From left to right: sophomore guard Kiki Rice, graduate student guard Charisma Osborne, sophomore guard Londynn Jones, sophomore forward Gabriela Jaquez and graduate student guard Camryn Brown sit on the court during a huddle. No. 4 Stanford outscored No. 7 UCLA women’s basketball in the paint 52-12 on Sunday afternoon. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Women’s Basketball

No. 7 UCLA60
No. 4 Stanford80

By Gavin Carlson

Feb. 4, 2024 4:19 p.m.

This post was updated on Feb. 4 at 11:11 p.m.

Feb. 4 immediately became a date to circle on calendars when sophomore center Lauren Betts announced her transfer from Stanford to UCLA last April.

The monthslong anticipation for Betts’ return to Maples Pavilion grew as she became the Bruins’ second-leading scorer just months after averaging less than six points per game with the Cardinal during her freshman season. Question marks lingered on how the Palo Alto crowd would react, or if UCLA could snap a four-game regular-season losing streak against Stanford. 

But with Betts’ absence still ongoing when the Bruins and Cardinal faced off, the long-awaited matchup quickly became a blowout.

Without Betts in attendance, No. 7 UCLA women’s basketball (17-4, 6-4 Pac-12) trailed by as much as 30 in an 80-60 drubbing against No. 4 Stanford (20-3, 9-2) on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinal took advantage of the absence of their former No. 1 recruit by outscoring the Bruins 52-12 in the paint and shooting their best percentage from the field since 2014 to hand UCLA its second loss in the four-game stretch without Betts.

“Just adding Lauren back does not fix what we saw,” said coach Cori Close. “Bottom line is we played all in our feelings tonight, and that’s unacceptable in a Bruin uniform.”

Stanford’s domination inside the paint began almost immediately.

After graduate student guard Charisma Osborne opened the scoring with a jumper, the Cardinal went on an 11-0 run over the next two-plus minutes, including four baskets in the paint. That initial run was a precursor of what would be an inside scoring clinic for the hosts, as Stanford finished four more shots inside with 16 points after the opening 10 minutes.

Osborne – who scored a season-high 32 points in Friday’s win against California – looked primed early to carry the load for UCLA’s offense once again. While Stanford was scoring inside on one end, Osborne was often finishing one of her four first-quarter baskets on the other, including a pair of 3-pointers.

The 5-foot-9 guard finished with 10 points in the first quarter, but the rest of the Bruin offense shot just 1-of-11 en route to a 21-12 deficit heading into the second.

And then things went from bad to worse for UCLA.

Coach Cori Close walks with her head down. The Bruins lost their fourth conference matchup of the season against the Cardinal in Stanford. (Jeremy Chen/Daily Bruin senior staff)

In addition to Betts, the Bruins were without sophomore forward Lina Sontag, who left the team following Friday’s win to play for her national team overseas. Without both frontcourt players, UCLA was once again outscored by nine points and dominated inside the paint by the Cardinal in the second frame. 

Like the first quarter, the dominance began early as Stanford opened the second quarter on a 10-2 run over the first four minutes to extend its lead to 31-14. 

Even when Osborne ended the run with one of her three 3-pointers of the game, the Cardinal responded with a triple of their own. And when senior forward Angela Dugalić then followed both shots from deep with a 3-pointer of her own, Stanford responded with another two layups inside.

After shooting just 25% in the first period, UCLA improved to 36.4% in the second and added another pair of 3-pointers. But the slight offensive success for the Bruins was overshadowed by a second consecutive quarter in which the Cardinal shot greater than 64% from the field. 

When the first-half buzzer sounded, Stanford had made 20 of its 30 shots, including 16 makes inside the paint to outscore UCLA 32-4 inside. The Bruins and Cardinal came into the contest ranked first and second, respectively, in rebounding margin, but Stanford had a 21-12 advantage after the opening 20 minutes to help take a 45-27 lead into the break.

“Tonight was really embarrassing playing out there,” Osborne said. “We have to figure it out and step up.”

Stanford’s domination extended into the third quarter, where it opened the half on a 6-0 run.

UCLA didn’t score in the opening 3:51 of the third frame and scored seven points until the 1:06 mark. Stanford’s lead reached 30 at one point during the stretch, with the score reading 64-34 in favor of the home team.

Even with three consecutive makes and a 7-0 run in the final 66 seconds of the third, the Bruins still scored just 14 points on 33.3% shooting in the quarter and trailed by 23 points heading into the final frame.

A slight 19-16 advantage in the fourth quarter meant very little for UCLA after shooting just 29.4% from the field for the contest and having no answer for Stanford in the paint defensively.

Osborne finished with 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting while sophomore guard Londynn Jones added 13 points of her own, but no other Bruin scored in double figures in their second loss in three games.

“We miss Lauren, we miss Lina, but this had to do with the character of us,” Close said. “We have enough in our locker room to compete much differently than we did today, and that should hurt every single one of our prides. There’s no roster excuse, that’s a heart issue.”

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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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