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No. 9 Bruins Cap Pac-12 Road Trip at Arizona State

Dec 5, 2020
Camryn Brown (left) and Charisma Osborne (right) -- photo by Caren Nicdao

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No. 9/10 UCLA (1-1, 0-1) vs. Arizona State (4-0, 1-0)
Date: Sunday, Dec. 6
Time: 1:00 p.m. PT
Location: Tempe, Ariz. (Desert Financial Arena)
Watch: Pac-12 Network (Cindy Brunson, Joan Bonvicini)
Listen: (Play-By-Play: Dave Marcus)

No. 9 UCLA is headed to Tempe, Ariz. to finish up its first Pac-12 road trip of the year, as the Bruins take on the Sun Devils on Sunday, Dec. 6 (1:00 p.m. PT). UCLA is riding a nine-game winning streak against the Sun Devils that dates back to 2016. The Bruins swept the season series with ASU last year with the first victory solidifying an historic start to the 2019-20 season, as UCLA's home victory over the Sun Devils on Jan. 3 improved the team to 13-0, the most-consecutive wins to start a season in program history. UCLA would take its second victory over ASU on Feb. 2, with Japreece Dean leading all scores with 18 points in a 70-61 win.

The Bruins suffered their first loss of the season at the hand of No. 7 Arizona. UCLA led for much of the first three quarters, but a strong run from the Wildcats in the third quarter swung the momentum to the other side. The Bruins clawed their way back and cut their deficit to three points, but Charisma Osborne's game-tying three-point attempt was off the mark. Osborne, ultimately, led the Bruins in scoring for the second-straight game to start the year, putting up 15 points in the loss. Senior forward Michaela Onyenwere totaled her 25th-career double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds. Fellow senior Lauryn miller joined the pair in double figures with 14 points.

With UCLA's win over Cal State Fullerton, Cori Close won her 199th-career game with the Bruins and is currently 199-105 (.655) in her career with the team. 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 .655 (Moore - .621; Olivier - .527).

Charisma Osborne earned the first Pac-12 Player of the Week honor of the 2020-21 season, the Conference office announced Monday. It's the first-career Pac-12 weekly honor for Osborne and the 62nd all-time for UCLA. Osborne had a dominant game in UCLA's opening-night victory over Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 27). The sophomore scored 31 points on 9-for-16 shooting and added a career-high six assists in the win over the Titans. She also went a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. It was Osborne's second 30+ performance in her young career, as she notched 32 points in the Bruins' win at Washington State (Feb. 21) last season, a performance that earned her Pac-12 Freshman of the Week accolades. She knocked down four three-pointers on the night, tied for the second-most she's hit in a game in her career. Osborne also added four rebounds, including a pair of offensive boards.

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 1,484 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 has scored in double figures in each of UCLA's first two games this season.

• UCLA's first victory over ASU last season (Jan. 3) improved the team to 13-0, the best start in program history.
• Head Coach Cori Close has 199-career wins and is one victory away from 200.
• Michaela Onyenwere has scored 1,484 points in her UCLA career and is 16 points away from 1,500.
• Charisma Osborne, Michaela Onyenwere, and Lauryn Miller have each scored in double figures in back-to-back games to start the season.
• Freshman Emily Bessoir scored seven points in her debut against Cal State Fullerton and eight against Arizona.

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: No. 9 UCLA vs. UCSB (Wednesday, Dec. 9)
The Bruins head home to face local foe UCSB on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. PT at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA is 14-2 all-time against the Gauchos and has won the last five matchups in the series dating back to 2006. The game is currently scheduled for broadcast on Longtime UCLA Women's Basketball radio broadcaster Dave Marcus will be unavailable for Wednesday's matchup; Nick Koop will take his place, with the radio broadcast accessible at 

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 eight rebounds in her UCLA debut against Cal State Fullerton (Nov. 27).

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), Wooden Award Watch List (most outstanding player), 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)