No. 6 UCLA Edges No. 5 Stanford, 70-66
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Charisma Osborne scored a game-high 24 points as the No. 6 UCLA women's basketball team edged No. 5 Stanford, 70-66, Friday evening at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
Osborne broke the 20-point plateau for the fourth game in a row and converted the go-ahead free throws down the stretch for the Bruins, who improved to 9-2 (7-2 in Pac-12 play). Michaela Onyenwere posted her fifth double-double of the season – and third in four games – scoring 16 points and pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds. Osborne added nine boards of her own. Natalie Chou (12 points) and Emily Bessoir (11) also scored in double figures for UCLA.
Kiana Williams scored 19 points and dished out a game-high five assists to lead the Cardinal (11-2, 8-2), which led for a majority of the first half, but was unable to pull back ahead down the stretch. Francesca Belibi added 14 points for Stanford, which also got double-digit scoring efforts from Haley Jones (12 points) and Lexie Hull (11).
Hull and Lindsey Corsaro exchanged three-pointers to start the game before Belibi scored in the paint to put the Bruins up 5-3 (8:59). Osborne answered with a steal-and-score to tie the game, but Jones scored on a cut to the rim on the following possession (8:14). With the Cardinal leading 11-8, Bessoir drained a triple from the top of the key to tie the contest at 11 (6:28). The teams were locked at 13 at the first media stoppage before Williams scored on a driving layup for Stanford (2:35). Later, a pair of free throws from Chou would make it 18-15, but Hull connected on a jumper to give Stanford a 20-15 lead after one.
A pair of free throws from Chantel Horvat and a triple from Chou tied the game at 20 with 8:55 to play in the half. A three from Williams would push Stanford ahead 27-23 before Onyenwere registered her first points of the game at the 7:00 mark. Onyenwere followed with a jumper before Osborne canned a corner three, giving the Bruins a three-point lead (5:46). UCLA led 33-30 before Osborne hit a pull-up jumper in transition with 3:02 left in the half. Williams answered with a transition lay-in, but Bessoir converted a tough lay-up at the other end to maintain the Bruins' five-point advantage. Williams added a pair of free throws, but Osborne drained a jumper to end the half, putting UCLA ahead 41-36 after the first 20 minutes.
Osborne led the way with 14 points in the first half, going 6-for-13 from the field. Hull and Williams each contributed 11 points for the Cardinal in the first two quarters.
Stanford opened the third quarter with two-straight buckets to cut UCLA's lead to one (41-40). Onyenwere answered with a tough put-back lay-in with 7:30 left in the frame (43-40). Horvat knocked down two free throws before Osborne scored on a runner in the lane, putting the Bruins ahead 47-40 (5:56). UCLA led 51-46 before Chou knocked down a triple from the elbow extended to make it 54-46 (4:07). Osborne would not be contained, knocking down a corner triple to extend the lead to 57-46 with 3:28 to play in the quarter. Cameron Brink scored consecutive buckets at the other end for Stanford, but Chou answered with a smooth basket in the paint to make it 59-50 (2:10). Williams finished strong in the paint with five seconds left, cutting UCLA's lead to 59-52 after three.
Jones hit two free throws to open the fourth quarter, but both offenses were stagnant for the next couple minutes (59-54). Free throws from Onyenwere made it a seven-point game, but Belibi put in a finger roll to make it 61-56 (6:32). Onyenwere converted a strong move in the paint and put UCLA up 63-56, but Belibi answered with a three-point play to cut the lead to four. Stanford applied the pressure as Belibi and Williams scored, knotting the game at 63 with 3:28 to play. Onyenwere stopped the bleeding with a layup off her own miss, but Williams continued her strong play with a jumper for Stanford (65-65). It was nothing but free throws the rest of the way, with Osborne sinking the difference makers with 1:23 left on the clock. Onyenwere iced the victory, giving the Bruins a four-point lead with seven seconds left. When her second shot missed, it was fittingly Osborne who grabbed the offensive rebound and dribbled out the clock.
The Bruins return home to Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom for matchups against Arizona State (Jan. 29) and Arizona (Jan. 31).