No. 8 UCLA Defeats Utah, 69-58, in Road Matinee
SALT LAKE CITY – Behind a game-high 25 points from Michaela Onyenwere, the No. 8 UCLA women's basketball team defeated Utah, 69-58, in a Friday matinee at the Jon M. Huntsman Center.
In a reserve role for the Bruins (12-3, 10-3 Pac-12), Chantel Horvat added 14 points and 12 rebounds for her third-career double-double. Her dozen boards matched a career high. Natalie Chou (12 points) and Charisma Osborne (10) rounded out a quartet of double-digit scorers for UCLA, which held the lead from the game's opening moments.
Bryanna Maxwell scored 14 points to lead the Utes (5-12, 4-12), who briefly cut the Bruins' game-high 18-point lead to single digits during the third quarter, but were unable to whittle it under eight. Kemery Martín added 12 points for the home team.
After Martín opened the scoring for Utah, Onyenwere answered with a bucket for the Bruins. The basket moved her past UCLA legend Ann Meyers Drysdale for 12th place all-time on the program's scoring list. Onyenwere stayed hot early, scoring the Bruins' first nine points to help UCLA jump out to a 9-4 lead (5:16). Osborne got on the board with a pair of triples, pushing the Bruins' lead to 15-8 (3:04). A three-pointer from Natalie Chou was answered by a corner jumper from Niyah Becker, holding the Bruins' advantage at 18-12 with 1:21 to play in the first. Onyenwere added a free throw to give her 10 points in the first quarter, giving UCLA a 19-12 lead after the opening frame.
Lauryn Miller scored on a nice post move to open the scoring in the second, but Martín answered with a bucket at the other end. Lola Pendande scored on the next possession for the Utes, cutting UCLA's lead to 21-16 (7:19). The Utes then scored two-straight baskets to make it a one-point game, forcing a timeout from The Michael Price Family UCLA Women's Head Basketball Coach Cori Close (5:58). Horvat scored on a put-back on the Bruins' first possession out of the timeout, but McFarland answered with an easy basket inside (23-22). Onyenwere then knocked down her second triple and Osborne followed with a breakaway layup, UCLA's lead back to 28-22 (3:59). The Bruins led 30-22 before Chou and Onyenwere knocked down baskets, swelling UCLA's lead to 35-22 (2:48). After a scoring drought from both teams, Maxwell scored inside for the final basket of the half.
The Bruins led 35-25 behind 17 points from Onyenwere. Osborne notched eight points in the opening two quarters and Chou contributed six points. Martín was Utah's leading scorer at the break with seven points.
Onyenwere picked up where she left off in the first half and scored to cap a UCLA possession with three offensive rebounds (8:36). The bucket would open an 8-0 run to start the third quarter for the Bruins, pushing the lead to 43-25 (6:40). McFarland knocked down a pair of free throws before Kennedy McQueen connected from long range, cutting the score to 43-30 (5:38). Utah's run continued with free throws from Becker and a three-pointer from Maxwell, making it a 43-35 game with 3:30 to play in the quarter. Corsaro stopped the bleeding with a three-pointer from the left side, but Becker answered with an easy two in the paint (1:35). Horvat converted in the paint and Onyenwere added two free throws to put the Bruins ahead 50-37 at the end of three.
Onyenwere and Chou scored to open the fourth quarter for the Bruins, but Maxwell answered with a triple in the corner (54-40). The Bruins led 55-42 before Andrea Torres hit her first bucket of the game, making it 55-44 (6:29). Horvat then scored inside to push the lead back to 13 and give her a double-double on the day. After Onyenwere converted a strong take to the basket, Chou scored on a nice left-handed scoop shot, making it 61-47. Miller scored out of the media timeout, but McQueen answered with a three-point play (63-52). McFarland scored on Utah's next possession and cut the deficit to nine, but Utah's offense stalled and a Horvat layup pushed UCLA's lead back to double figures, where it would stay for the balance of the game.
The Bruins finish up their road trip with a matchup against Colorado on Sunday, Feb. 12, with tip-off scheduled for 12:00 p.m. PT. Colorado will produce a live stream for the television broadcast and Dave Marcus' radio call can be heard at ucla.leanplayer.com. Sunday's game will be the first content between the programs this season, as the first scheduled game (Jan. 8) was, ultimately, postponed. The Bruins swept the Buffs last season.