Onyenwere Leads UCLA Past Oregon in Eugene
EUGENE, Ore. – Michaela Onyenwere scored a career-high 33 points, with her final basket proving to be the game winner, as the No. 11 UCLA women's basketball team defeated No. 11 and previously-unbeaten Oregon, 73-71, in a Pac-12 showdown at Matthew Knight Arena Sunday afternoon.
The Bruins (6-2, 4-2) withstood a furious fourth-quarter rally by the Ducks, who scored 11 straight points before a second-chance layup by Onyenwere with 51 seconds remaining made the difference. The senior also pulled down 10 rebounds for her 27th-career double-double and moved past former UCLA standouts Atonye Nyingifa and Dora Dome into 14th place on the program's all-time scoring list. Charisma Osborne added 22 points, converting five of eight 3-pointers.
Te-Hina Paopao scored 19 points to lead Oregon (8-1, 6-1). Angela Dugalic added 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds off the bench. Nyara Sabally (12) and Erin Boley (10) rounded out a quartet of double-digit scorers for the Ducks, who dropped their first home game since a Feb. 22, 2019 loss, also to UCLA.
The teams exchanged baskets to open the game before Onyenwere connected on a pair of free throws to move into 15th on UCLA's all-time scoring list (4-2). Osborne knocked down a pair of triples to put the Bruins ahead before Onyenwere added a jumper in the lane to extend the lead to 12-8 (4:53). Onyenwere hit two more free throws to put the Bruins up 16-11 before Dominique Darius checked in for the first time in her UCLA career (2:10). Oregon scored four-straight points to cut the lead to one, but Onyenwere continued her strong opening frame with a put-back layup to answer (18-15, 0:58). Osborne scored in transition on the following possession and the Bruins would take a 20-15 lead into the second quarter.
The Ducks opened the second quarter on a 7-2 run, taking a 23-22 lead and forcing a timeout from The Michael Price Family UCLA Women's Head Basketball Coach Cori Close (8:21). Emily Bessoir banked in a jumper out of the timeout, but Oregon responded with baskets from Dugalic and Paopao to take a 29-26 advantage (5:57). With the Bruins down three, Onyenwere drained a triple from the elbow extended to tie the score at 31 (4:24). Darius then found Camryn Brown in the paint on a beautiful feed and then scored, herself, on the following possession, putting the Bruins ahead 35-31 (2:58). Boley responded with a three-point play, but a bucket from Miller made it 37-34 at the 1:36 mark. The Bruins would take a 38-34 lead into the break.
Onyenwere led the way with 15 points at the break. Boley had 10 for the Ducks after two quarters.
Onyenwere knocked down baskets on three-straight possessions and the Bruins took a 44-36 lead (8:38). Corsaro followed with a triple and the Bruins went up 11, forcing a timeout from Oregon head coach Kelly Graves (8:07). Paopao knocked down a three-pointer to cut the deficit to eight, but Osborne answered right back with a corner three to put the Bruins up 52-41 (5:58). The Ducks went on a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to two at the 1:32 mark. Osborne then hit two free throws but Dugalic answered with a bucket in the paint (54-52). Paopao drove into the paint and scored on the next possession, tying the game at 54. Osborne drained a corner triple to end the quarter and stop the run, putting UCLA ahead, 57-54, with 10 minutes to play.
Onyenwere opened the fourth quarter with a pair of baskets and moved into 14th place all-time on UCLA's scoring list (1,590 pts). Osborne continued her stellar day with her fifth three-pointer of the day, putting the Bruins ahead 65-55 (7:48). Dugalic hit two-straight baskets for the Ducks, cutting the score to 65-59 with 6:26 to play. Onyenwere answered with four-straight points to make it 69-59 (5:25). The Bruins led 71-60 when Oregon rattled off 11 straight points to tie the score at 71 (1:25). The next time down the court, Onyenwere followed her own missed 3-pointer to lay in the game's final points.
With the win, UCLA has defeated at least one top-10 opponent in each of the last six seasons: No. 7 in Oregon (73-71 – Jan. 3, 2021), No. 6 Stanford (79-69 – Feb. 7, 2019), No. 2 Oregon (74-69 – Feb. 22, 2019), No. 9 Maryland (85-80 – March 25, 2019), No. 3 Baylor (82-68 – Nov. 18, 2017), No. 8 Texas (84-75 – March 23, 2018), No. 10 Oregon State (66-56 – Jan. 13, 2017), No. 8 Stanford (85-76 – Feb. 6, 2017), No. 9 Washington (90-79 – Feb. 17, 2017) and No. 9 Arizona State (74-61 – Feb. 28, 2016).
UCLA returns home to Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom for a weekend pairing with the Pac-12 Mountain schools. The Bruins take on Colorado on Friday, Jan. 8 (4:00 p.m. PT) and Utah on Sunday, Jan. 10 (1:00 p.m. PT).