LOS ANGELES — In a matchup that UCLA women’s basketball coach Cori Close expected to be a clash of styles, No. 2 UCLA imposed its will in a 65-54 victory over Oregon State.
Close, in her 12th season at the helm, knew then that whichever team didn’t budge from its personality would gain the upper hand in a clash of juggernauts.
The Bruins (14-0) deployed a full-court press from the outset, their guards poking at the rock as Beavers’ ball-handlers traversed past half-court. The Bruins defense turned the game into a track meet and their offense began to capitalize on that space in the second half.
Senior UCLA guard Charisma Osborne led the way with 15 points, her team-high three steals, a direct product of that controlled defensive aggression. Kiki Rice had 13 points and Londynn Jones had 12.
The Bruins’ full-court, man-to-man press made the Beavers’ uncomfortable, forcing their possessions to start late into the shot clock. The Beavers, however, kept it tight throughout the first half because they were uber-efficient once they got into those half-court sets.
UCLA’s lead began to balloon when it dropped back and bothered the Beavers in the half-court. With Osborne at the point of attack, the Beavers settled for contested shots deep into the shot clock and threw errant passes that turned into five third quarter turnovers. UCLA took a 52-40 lead into the final quarter.
The Beavers (12-2) mounted a run to start the fourth, but their plodding pace wasn’t conducive to completing a comeback. Timea Gardner knocked down a three to cut the margin to six, before the Bruins extended it in the same way they originally built it.
UCLA’s dagger came with 2:24 remaining after a Beavers team, exhausted from breaking the Bruins press, left Osborne free for a three-pointer.
Raegan Beers scored 11 of her 21 points in the first half for Oregon State (12-2, 0-2). The Beavers have lost two straight after a 12-0 start, falling 56-54 against at No. 9 USC on Friday night.UCLA prolonged its undefeated season and will face USC next Sunday.