No. 8 UCLA Hosts No. 25 Washington State on Sunday
No. 8 UCLA (7-2, 5-2) vs. No. 25 Washington State (7-1, 5-1)
Date: Sunday, Jan. 17
Time: 11:00 a.m. PT
Location: Los Angeles, Calif. (Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom)
Watch: Pac-12 Network (Anne Marie Anderson, Tammy Blackburn)
Listen: ucla.leanplayer.com (Play-By-Play: Dave Marcus)
THIS WEEK'S MATCHUP: No. 8 UCLA vs. No. 25 Washington State
The Bruins are back at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom to take on Washington State on Sunday, Jan. 17. UCLA has reached its highest AP ranking of the season thus far (No. 8), while the Cougars enter Sunday's matchup ranked (No. 25) for the first time in program history. WSU is led by sisters Charlisse and Krystal Leger-Walker, who are currently averaging 18.8 and 10.8 points per game, respectively. The Cougars enter the matchup at 7-1 overall and are coming off an overtime home win over then-No. 7 Arizona (Jan. 10).
A WIN WOULD...
• Improve the Bruins to 8-2 overall and 6-2 in Pac-12 play and earn the Bruins their third-straight victory.
• Improve the Bruins to 2-2 against ranked opponents this season.
• Extend UCLA's unbeaten home record against Washington State to 33-0.
• Extend UCLA's winning streak against Washington state to six games.
LAST TIME OUT: UCLA 92, Utah 67 (Jan. 10)
Natalie Chou poured in a career-high 28 points, Charisma Osborne added 22 and Michaela Onyenwere posted 17 points, as the ninth-ranked Bruins led from start to finish in a 92-67 victory over Utah on Sunday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. Chou was 11-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc to tie a career high for triples, with her 28 points eclipsing her previous personal best of 22 in 2017 when she played for Baylor. Osborne added four baskets from distance, a career-high eight assists and five rebounds, while Onyenwere was a board and two dimes away from a triple-double, registering nine rebounds and a personal-best eight assists.
NOTES ON THE BRUINS
• Michaela Onyenwere has scored 1,617 points in her UCLA career and is currently 14th on the program's all-time scoring list. Lisa Willis ('06) is 13th with 1,677 points. Ann Meyers Drysdale ('78) is 12th with 1,685 points.
• Natalie Chou scored a career-high 28 points on a career-high 11 made field goals against Utah (Jan. 10).
• Michaela Onyenwere and Charisma Osborne both recorded a career-high eight assists against Utah (Jan. 10).
• Michaela Onyenwere is fourth in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.4). She is the only player in the Conference in the top 5 in both categories.
• Charisma Osborne leads the Pac-12 in three-pointers made per game (2.67).
• Lindsey Corsaro leads the Pac-12 in Assist/Turnover ratio at 3.25.
• UCLA enters Sunday's game at No. 8 in the AP Poll, the team's highest ranking of the season.
• With the team's win over then-No. 8 Oregon (Jan. 3), the Bruins have now recorded a victory over a top-10 opponent in each of the last six seasons.
• UCLA is the only team with multiple players (Onyenwere - 18.7, Osborne 17.0) among the Pac-12's top 5 scorers.
• UCLA is the only team with multiple Pac-12 POW honorees (Chou, Jan. 11, Onyenwere - Jan. 4, Osborne - Nov. 30).
• UCLA is 10th in the country and leads the Pac-12 in offensive rebounds per game (17.1).
• The Bruins lead the Pac-12 in fewest turnovers per game (11.3). UCLA also leads the Conference in most turnovers forced with 18.6 per contest.
PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: NATALIE CHOU
Natalie Chou has earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors, the Conference office announced Monday. Chou earned the weekly accolade on the heels of UCLA's 92-67 victory over Utah (Jan. 11), in which she scored a career-high 28 points. It was her first 20+ point game of the season and her 28 points were six more than her previous career-high total (22 while playing for Baylor). She was lights out from the floor against the Utah, knocking down a career-best 11 field goals on 11-for-14 shooting. It was the first time in her career that she notched double-digit field goals. She also tied a career-high with five three-pointers (5-for-7 3FG) in the victory.
WELCOME TO WESTWOOD, DOMINIQUE DARIUS
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. She has scored 10 points across her first two games as a Bruin.
AP POLL PROMINENCE
The Bruins earned the No. 8 ranking in the most recent Associated Press (AP) Poll. The Bruins are one of four Pac-12 teams that cracked the top 25 on the Nov. 30 edition of the poll, with Stanford (No. 1), Oregon (No. 10), Arizona (No. 11) also joining the list. UCLA has now been ranked in the AP Top 25 in 31 straight weeks and has secured a top-11 ranking in each of the last 28 weeks.
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 six games and has scored at least 13 points in three of her last six contests.
WATCH LIST RECOGNITION
Senior forward Michaela Onyenwere and sophomore guard Charisma Osborne have been named to several 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 Midseason Top 25 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)