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UCLA Women's Basketball Takes on Ducks in Eugene

Dec 30, 2020
Michaela Onyenwere (photo by Caren Nicdao)

UCLA's Notes (PDF) | UCLA's Statistics

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No. 11 UCLA (5-2, 3-2) vs. No. 7 Oregon (7-0, 5-0)
Date: Sunday, Jan. 3
Time: 1:00 p.m. PT
Location: Eugene, Ore. (Matthew Knight Arena)
Watch: Pac-12 Network (Ann Schatz, Elise Woodward)
Listen: (Play-By-Play: Dave Marcus)

THIS WEEK'S MATCHUP: No. 11 UCLA at No. 8 Oregon
The Bruins are headed to Eugene for a matchup against Oregon on Sunday, Jan. 3 at Matthew Knight Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. PT with Pac-12 Network handling the television broadcast. The Bruins fell at home to Oregon last season (Feb. 14), but emerged victorious in their last trip to Eugene in 2019, notching a 74-69 win after trailing by as many as 22 points (Feb. 22).

Michaela Onyenwere led all scorers with 19 points, adding seven rebounds, but the 10th-ranked Bruins dropped a 61-49 decision to No. 1 Stanford on Monday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. The Bruins (5-2, 3-2 Pac-12) had the top two scorers in the game, as Emily Bessoir accounted for 15 points, which tied a season best, adding five boards. Charisma Osborne posted seven points, five rebounds and four assists. Lindsey Corsaro dished out six assists, while Lauryn Miller grabbed six rebounds and tied a career high with four steals.

High school senior Dominique Darius has enrolled early at UCLA and has joined the women's basketball team's active roster, the team announced Monday (Dec. 28). The Jacksonville, Fla., native is ranked 26th on ESPN's 2021 HoopGurlz Recruiting Rankings. She arrives in Westwood by way of Blair Academy (NJ), where she helped lead the Buccaneers to an NJISAA State title in 2020. As a junior, Darius put up 15.8 points per game in Blair's 26-5 campaign.

Individual Notes
• Michaela Onyenwere has scored 1,567 points in her UCLA career and is currently 16th on the program's all-time scoring list. Atonye Nyingifa ('14) is 15th with 1,570 points. Dora Dome ('88) is 14th with 1,589 points.
• Charisma Osborne has made her first 18 free throws to start the season. Japreece Dean ('20) holds the program record with 40-consecutive free throws made across the 2018-19 season.
• Michaela Onyenwere has scored in double figures in each of UCLA's first seven games.
• Michaela Onyenwere is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring (16.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.1). She is the only player in the Conference in the top 5 in both categories.
• Emily Bessoir is tied for third on the team in scoring (9.9 ppg) and has scored at least 13 points in three of her last four games. She has also hit a three-pointer in five straight games.
• Lindsey Corsaro leads the Pac-12 in Assist/Turnover ratio at 3.29.

Team Notes
• UCLA is the only team with multiple players (Onyenwere - 16.9, Osborne 15.6) among the Pac-12's top 5 scorers.
• UCLA is sixth in the country and leads the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds per game (19.0).
• UCLA recorded a season-high 20 steals as a team against California (Dec. 19). The Bruins have recorded at least 10 steals in five of seven games this year.
• The Bruins lead the Pac-12 in fewest turnovers per game (11.1). UCLA also leads the Conference in most turnovers forced with 19.7 per contest.

Michaela Onyenwere recorded 17 points in the Bruins' blowout victory over UCSB (Dec. 9), a performance that took her over the 1,500-career-point milestone at UCLA. She is currently 17th on UCLA's all-time scoring list. With UCLA's win at Arizona State (Dec. 6), Cori Close won her 200th-career game with the Bruins. She is only the third coach in program history to achieve the milestone (Billie Moore - 296; Kathy Olivier - 232).

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.

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 is averaging 9.9 points through her first seven games and has scored at least 13 points in three of her last four contests.

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)