Bruins Down ASU, Close Picks Up 200th Career Win
TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 9 UCLA women's basketball team withstood a second-half surge from Arizona State to claim a 63-59 win at Desert Financial Arena on Sunday afternoon, delivering head coach Cori Close her milestone 200th career win.
The Bruins (2-1, 1-1 Pac-12) led by as many as 17 in the first half and entered the locker room with a 35-26 lead at halftime, but ASU (4-1, 1-1) fought back to tie the game at the end of third quarter and led at various junctures in the fourth.
Redshirt junior guard Lindsey Corsaro hit a trio of key three-pointers for the Bruins down the stretch to help preserve the win. First, she connected at the 3:11 mark of the fourth quarter to turn a two-point deficit into a 55-53 lead, then she hit another trey with 1:46 remaining to break a 55-55 deadlock and give UCLA the lead for good. She added another three for good measure to make it a four-point lead with 67 seconds remaining.
Corsaro co-led the team in scoring with 14 points, alongside sophomore guard and reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week Charisma Osborne. Senior forward Michaela Onyenwere added 10 points and a team-high six rebounds.
The Bruins opened the game on an 8-0 run, capped by a pair of free throws from Charisma Osborne after ASU Head Coach Charli Turner Thorne was called for a technical foul. Bre'Yanna knocked down a triple to put the Sun Devils on the board, but freshman Emily Bessoir followed with a bucket in the paint to make it 10-3 (6:28). A Charisma Osborne three-pointer made it 15-7 before a jump ball sent the game to its first media timeout at the 3:27 mark. With UCLA up 19-9, Osborne converted a strong and-one layup to give the Bruins a 13-point lead with 1:03 left in the frame. A pair of free throws from Maggie Basselink cut the score to 22-11, giving UCLA an 11-point lead after the first 10 minutes of action.
With the Bruins up 24-12 early in the second quarter, Lauryn Miller hit a short jumper in the lane and Lindsey Corsaro hit three free throws to give UCLA its largest lead of the afternoon (7:19). The Sun Devils answered with a quick 7-0 run from ASU, a pair of free throws from Onyenwere made it a 31-19 lead for the Bruins (5:08). After scoring droughts from both teams, Eboni Walker knocked down a short jumper to cut ASU's deficit to eight (31-23) with 3:09 left in the second quarter. Taya Hanson then drained a three-pointer from the left elbow extended, making it a five-point lead for UCLA with 1:36 to play. Camryn Brown capped the first half with a silky left-handed hook in the paint, giving the Bruins a 35-26 lead at the break.
Eight Bruins scored in the first half, with Osborne and Onyenwere tying for the game-high with eight points in the opening 20 minutes. Ebony Walker had seven points to lead Arizona State.
The teams exchanged baskets to open the third quarter before Osborne hit a jumper from the top of the key, putting the Bruins up 39-29 (7:58). The Bruins held an eight-point lead out of the media timeout, but Walker would convert on a driving layup to pull ASU to within six (3:41). Miller responded with a strong bucket in the paint, bringing the score back to 45-37. The Sun Devils rattled off a quick 5-0 run, forcing a timeout from Close at the 1:43 mark in the quarter. Osborne knocked down a jumper out of the stoppage, but ASU answered with another 5-0 run to tie the game at 47-47 at the end of the third.
ASU took the lead off a Jaddan Simmons bucket early in the frame, but Bessoir answered with a triple to give UCLA the 50-49 advantage (8:58). With the Sun Devils up 53-52, Corsaro knocked down a clutch three to give UCLA a two-point lead with 3:11 to play. A pair of ASU free throws tied the game, but Corsaro knocked down two more threes to put the Bruins ahead 61-57 (1:08).
Trailing by two with just 14 seconds left, the hosts had one last chance to stay in the game, but ASU's Maggie Besselink was whistled for stepping out of bounds while trying to make a pass at the baseline. After being intentionally fouled, Osborne knocked down a pair of free throws at the other end to seal the contest.
UCLA heads home for a matchup against local foe UCSB on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. PT and the live action will be broadcast on pac-12.com/live/ucla. Nick Koop's radio broadcast can be heard at ucla.leanplayer.com.