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No. 9 UCLA Travels to Local Foe Pepperdine

Nov 28, 2020
Sophomore guard Charisma Osborne scored 31 points in UCLA's season-opening win against Cal State Fullerton (photo by Caren Nicdao).

2020-21 Information Guide | UCLA's Notes | Pepperdine's Notes (PDF)

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No. 9/10 UCLA (1-0, 0-0) vs. Pepperdine (0-0, 0-0)
Date: Sunday, Nov. 29
Time: 4:00 p.m. PT
Location: Malibu, Calif. (Firestone Fieldhouse)
Watch: WCC Network / Pepperdine Livestream (
Listen: (Play-By-Play: Dave Marcus)

The Bruins make their first road appearance of the season with a matchup against Pepperdine on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 4:00 p.m. PT. UCLA holds a commanding 16-3 lead in the all-time series against the Waves and has won the last three matchups. The two schools last squared off at Pauley Pavilion in November of 2013, with the Bruins notching an 82-78 victory.

UCLA is coming off an opening-night victory over Cal State Fullerton on Friday, Nov. 29. The Bruins secured a dominant 98-49 win at Pauley Pavilion with Charisma Osborne leading all scores with 31 points. Michaela Onyenwere put up 22 points and eight rebounds while Natalie Chou added 16 points in the win. Lauryn Miller was the fourth Bruin to reach double-figures, notching 12 points. Sophomore guard Camryn Brown impressed in her season debut, scoring six points and tying a career high with three steals. Freshman Emily Bessoir made her UCLA debut Friday and notched seven points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes of action.

With UCLA's win over Cal State Fullerton, Cori Close won her 199th-career game with the Bruins and improved to 199-104 overall at the helm of the UCLA program. She is one victory away from the 200-win milestone and would become only the third coach in program history to achieve the feat (Billie Moore - 296; Kathy Olivier - 232). Of the three coaches, Close has the highest winning percentage at .657 (Moore - .621; Olivier - .527)

Senior forward Michaela Onyenwere enters the 2020-21 season as the Bruins' leading scorer over the past two seasons. She averaged a career-high 18.9 points per game last season and notched 13 games with at least 20 points in 2019-20. With a full season ahead of her, she already sits 19th on UCLA's all-time scoring list with 1,471 points. If she eclipses the 2,000-point milestone this season, she will become the fourth Bruin to do so and just the third to score 500+ points in three-consecutive seasons. Onyenwere put up 22 points in UCLA's season-opening win over Cal State Fullerton.

• Charisma Osborne now has a 30-point performance in each of her two seasons with the Bruins.
• Michaela Onyenwere has scored 1,479 points in her UCLA career and is 21 points away from 1,500.
• Lauryn Miller scored 12 points against Cal State Fullerton and surpassed the 400-career-point milestone (401).
• The Bruins have won 72 of their last 81 games (.889) at Pauley Pavilion over the last five seasons.
• Onyenwere earned Preseason AP All-America honors, becoming just the second Bruin to do so (Maylana Martin --1999).
• Onyenwere and sophomore guard Charisma Osborne earned Preseason All-Pac-12 acclaim.
• Onyenwere has been named to the Naismith Trophy and Cheryl Miller Award watch lists.
• Osborne has been named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award watch list.

2019-20 IN REVIEW
UCLA is coming off a 26-5 season in 2019-20, the fifth-straight 20-win season under Coach Close. The Bruins finished 14-4 in Pac-12 play, good for second place in the regular season standings. UCLA advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament and was on track to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, but subsequent postseason play was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following the conclusion of the season, Michaela Onyenwere earned AP Third-Team All-America accolades. Onyenwere and then-senior Japreece Dean earned All-Pac-12 honors.

UP NEXT: UCLA at No. 7 Arizona (Friday, Dec. 4)
The Bruins open Pac-12 play next week with a trip to Tucson to take on the No. 7 Wildcats in a top-10 clash. The teams split the season series last year, but UCLA still maintains a strong 61-22 advantage in the all-time series. 

The Bruins return four players who started at least 20 games last year: Michaela Onyenwere, Charisma Osborne, Lauryn Miller, and Lindsey Corsaro. Onyenwere was the team's leading scorer with 18.9 points per game last year, while Osborne returns after a freshman campaign that saw her put up 12.2 points per game, the third-most on the team. Miller started 30 games as a true junior and put up a career-high 6.6 points per game. Corsaro logged 23.5 minutes per contest in 2019-20 and can serve as a primary ball-handler for the Bruins in the upcoming season. UCLA also returns redshirt senior Natalie Chou, who put up 7.4 points per contest in her first active season with the team last season. The Bruins' key departure from last year is point guard Japreece Dean, who earned All-Pac-12 honors last season. Dean was drafted by the Chicago Sky and is now playing overseas.

UCLA freshman Emily Bessoir has already made a huge impact in her brief time with the program thus far. At 6'4", she is the tallest player on the Bruins' active roster and has a commanding presence in the post. That said, she has strong ball-handling skills and can lead a fastbreak for the Bruins off a rebound. Bessoir was named to ESPN's Newcomer Impact Rankings for the upcoming season. The Munich, Germany, native scored seven points and added seven rebounds in her UCLA debut.

Senior forward Michaela Onyenwere and sophomore guard Charisma Osborne have been named to several preseason watch lists for various national awards. Both players were also named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 team.
Onyenwere: Preseason AP All-American, Preseason All-Pac-12, Naismith Trophy Watch List (collegiate player of the year), Cheryl Miller Award Watch List (nation's best small forward)
Osborne: Preseason All-Pac-12, Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch List (nation's best shooting guard)