Monday, April 15

UCLA women’s basketball ends last Pac-12 home game besting Colorado


Sophomore guard Kiki Rice spins for a layup against three defenders. Rice swept the stat sheet against the Buffaloes, notching 20 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. (Megan Cai/Photo editor)


Women’s Basketball


No. 13 Colorado45
No. 8 UCLA53

This post was updated Feb. 27 at 9:20 p.m.

The Quay Miller show commenced out of the halftime break.

All across the court, the Buffalo forward knocked down shots – first from the baseline, then beyond the arc and finally at the rim. Miller mustered a seven-point swing in under two minutes, and the visiting team was within three points. 

Then Miller went to work in the paint again, helping the Buffaloes come within one point.

After guard Jaylyn Sherrod deflected a pass from graduate student guard Camryn Brown at midcourt, guard Tameiya Sadler laid the ball in the basket. 

At 32-31, the Buffaloes achieved the lead. But it would be their first and last of the night.

No. 8 UCLA women’s basketball (22-5, 11-5 Pac-12) outlasted No. 13 Colorado (20-7, 10-6) at home, battling a midgame run and relinquishing the lead just once en route to its 53-45 victory. After committing a regular season-high 24 turnovers and being outrebounded on the offensive glass for the first time in Pac-12 play, the Bruins held on during Senior Night to claim a share of second place in the conference ahead of the Pac-12 tournament next week.

​“We found a way to win ugly,” said coach Cori Close. “That tells you though how good our defense really was, that even with the 24 turnovers, still holding them to 45 points is pretty remarkable.”

UCLA emerged dominant in the top-15 matchup from the tip, draining seven of its first nine shots and emulating its early run against Utah last week. While the Bruins went 67% from the field in the first quarter, they held the Buffaloes to 15% on 2-of-13 shooting.

“We really tightened up our ball-screen defense,” said sophomore guard Kiki Rice. “And communication on off- and on-ball action has been really good for us.”

Then Colorado mustered a response.

In a six-point swing, guard Frida Formann drilled one from deep on the right wing and got the ball back beyond the arc just nine seconds later after guard Kindyll Wetta nabbed the steal on the inbound. 

Close promptly called a timeout upon Formann’s third 3-pointer of the night.

Out of the break, graduate student guard Charisma Osborne immediately sank her own 3-pointer. Pauley Pavilion rose to its feet again when Rice completed an electric spin cycle, ending on hardwood in dramatic fashion as she drew the foul. After Rice found the bottom of the net beyond the arc, UCLA regained its 10-point advantage. 

Neither team scored for over two minutes as the first half came to a close, and the guard duo of Osborne and Rice ultimately combined for 20 of the Bruins’ 29 first-half points. 

Graduate student guard Charisma Osborne looks inside with the ball. Osborne scored 14 points against the Buffaloes on her Senior Night. (Shane Yu/Daily Bruin staff)

 

During Colorado’s third-quarter surge, the Bruins committed seven turnovers in a seven-minute stretch, allowing nine points off turnovers. 

But while the Bruins couldn’t take care of the ball, Londynn Jones had her say.

The sophomore guard drilled a right-wing 3-pointer and then took the ball to the hoop to bring the score to 36-32.

Another sophomore in Rice continued to litter the stat sheet, keeping the Bruins in front as the two teams traded layups. UCLA’s five-point lead was tenuous, but it was proving enough.

“You start to realize that each possession matters,” Rice said. “These past two games, I think we’ve learned a lot about who we are and what areas that we need to get better in going into postseason play.”

Then Osborne continued her Senior Night display, rising from the right wing to knock down a 3-pointer as Pauley Pavilion erupted in applause. 

“No one was guarding me, and that’s a shot that I practice all the time,” Osborne said. “So I just took the shot.”

Colorado went on to make two more free throws to cut the deficit to four, but the clock winded down. Sophomore center Lauren Betts came up big with a deflection before the Buffaloes began fouling in crunch time.

And none other than Rice nabbed a steal, going coast-to-coast with a layup to seal the win. The signal-caller finished the night with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals.

UCLA now moves to seven wins over top-25 teams – first in the nation.

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.


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