No. 3 Seed Bruins Open NCAA Tournament Against No. 14 Seed Wyoming
No. 3 seed UCLA (16-5, 12-4) vs. No. 14 seed Wyoming (14-9, 8-8)
Date: Monday, Mar. 22
Time: 9:00 p.m. CT / 7:00 p.m. PT
Location: Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)
Watch: ESPN (Beth Mowins, Renee Montgomery)
Listen: ucla.leanplayer.com (Dave Marcus)
NCAA TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCHUP: No. 3 seed UCLA vs. No. 14 seed Wyoming
The stage is set for the NCAA Tournament and the No. 3 seed Bruins will see their first action on Monday, Mar. 22 against the No. 14 seed Wyoming Cowgirls. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. PT at Frank Erwin Center on the campus of the University of Texas. ESPN will televise the live action with Beth Mowins and Renee Montgomery on the call, while Dave Marcus' radio broadcast can be heard at ucla.leanplayer.com. UCLA enters the matchup at 16-5 overall and 12-4 in Pac-12 play, notching an appearance in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game against Stanford (Mar. 7). UCLA compiled five victories over ranked teams this season, including a victory over then-No. 5 Stanford in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Jan. 22. The Cowgirls are 14-9 and are fresh off a Mountain West Tournament run that saw them win four-straight games to earn the league tournament title as the No. 7 seed.
A WIN WOULD...
• Improve the Bruins to to 13-4 all-time in NCAA First Round matchups and advance the Bruins to their ninth-straight NCAA Tournament Second Round.
• Earn the Bruins their ninth-straight victory in NCAA First Round matchups and improve the Bruins to 6-0 in such matchups under Head Coach Cori Close.
HISTORY: UCLA in NCAA Tournament First Round Under Cori Close (5-0)
• 2019: College Park, Md. -- UCLA defeats Tennessee, 89-77; Lindsey Corsaro with 18 points.
• 2018: Pauley Pavilion -- UCLA defeats American, 71-60; Monique Billings with 15 points.
• 2017: Pauley Pavilion -- UCLA defeats Boise State, 83-56; Monique Billings with 19 points.
• 2016: Pauley Pavilion -- UCLA defeats Hawaii, 66-50; Nirra Fields with 16 points.
• 2013: Columbus, Ohio -- UCLA defeats Stetson, 66-49; Nirra Fields with 13 points.
SCOUTING THE COWGIRLS
Wyoming enters Monday's matchup at 14-9 overall and the No. 14 seed in the Hemisfair Region of the NCAA Tournament bracket. The Cowgirls have won their last six games, including four-straight in the Mountain West Tournament to win their league title as the No. 7 seed. Wyoming boasts a balanced scoring attack as four players average at least nine points per game. Sophomore guard McKinley Bradshaw leads the team with 11.5 points per game. The Lyman, Wyo., product has three 20+ point performances to her credit this season. The Cowgirls led the Mountain West in scoring defense this season, allowing just 57.8 points per game. Head Coach Gerald Mattinson is in his second year at the helm of the Wyoming program after spending 16 years as an associate or assistant coach.
NOTES ON THE BRUINS
• The Bruins are one of only eight teams in the nation to have reached the Sweet 16 in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments.
• Michaela Onyenwere has scored 1,842 points in her UCLA career and is 6th on UCLA's all-time scoring list. Nirra Fields ('16) is fifth with 1,867 points. Rehema Stephens ('92) is fourth with 1,887 points.
• UCLA held Arizona to just 49 points in the Pac-12 Tournament Semifinals, the Wildcats' second-lowest scoring output of the season.The Bruins held the Huskies to 46 points in the Quarterfinals, UW's lowest scoring output of the season.
• Charisma Osborne put up 18 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds against USC (Feb. 26), recording the ninth triple-double in team history and the first since Japreece Dean against Yale on Nov. 26, 2019.
• The Bruins set a program record with 16 made three-pointers against USC (Feb. 26), going 16-for-23 on the night.
• The Bruins shot 17-for-17 from the free throw line against Oregon State (Feb. 21), good for the most made free throws in a game without a miss in team history.
• Michaela Onyenwere scored 30 points in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game, her fifth-career 30+ point performance.
• UCLA is the only team with multiple players (Onyenwere, 3rd - 18.7 ppg, Osborne, 4th - 17.0 ppg) among the Pac-12's top five scorers.
• Michaela Onyenwere is third in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.7 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (7.3). She is the only player in the Conference in the top five in both categories.
• Natalie Chou is averaging a career-high 10.3 points per game and has scored in double figures in 10 games this season.
• Charisma Osborne (81 assists) and Lauryn Miller (48) have each recorded career-high assist totals this year.
• Lindsey Corsaro has dished out at least 3 assists in 14 of her last 18 games.
LAST TIME OUT: No. 3 seed UCLA 58, No. 1 seed Stanford (Mar. 7) -- Pac-12 Tournament
Michaela Onyenwere's game-high 30 points were not enough as the third-seeded UCLA women's basketball team fell to top seed Stanford, 75-55, in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game Sunday evening at Michelob ULTRA Arena. The Bruins (16-5, 12-4 Pac-12) cut a 26-point second-half deficit to 10 in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, but the Cardinal (25-2, 19-2) proved too much down the stretch. Charisma Osborne added 11 points and a game-high four assists for UCLA. Onyenwere was named to the All-Tournament Team, joining Cameron Brink, Lexie Hull and Kiana Williams (Most Outstanding Player) of Stanford, Aleah Goodman of Oregon State and Aari McDonald of Arizona.
LOOKING BACK: 2019 NCAA Tournament First Round -- UCLA 89, Tennessee 77
Michaela Onyenwere led the way with 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Bruins eliminated 11th-seeded Tennessee, 89-77, on March 23, 2019. With the game tied at 70 in the fourth quarter, the Bruins used a 10-0 run to pull away, led by eight combined points between Onyenwere and Kennedy Burke. Onyenwere's 15 rebounds matched a then-career-high, and she had six offensive boards. She shot 10-for-22 from the field. Lindsey Corsaro scored a career-high 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting, going 4-for-6 from 3-point range. She also had four rebounds and four assists. Burke scored 10 of her 19 points in the second half, while Japreece Dean and Lajahna Drummer added 14 and 10 points, respectively.
LOOKING BACK: 2016 Pac-12 Tournament Runner-Up
The Bruins are making their first appearance in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game since 2016. The 2016 tournament saw No. 3 seed UCLA knock off Arizona and California before suffering a 69-57 loss to Oregon State in the final. Monique Billings notched 18 points in the quarterfinal matchup, helping lead the Bruins to a 72-51 win over Arizona. Jordin Canada provided 26 points in the overtime win over the Golden Bears to send UCLA to the championship game. The Bruins were unable to overcome a slow start in the first half against the Beavers and fell to OSU in the final. Canada would earn All-Tournament accolades.
AP THIRD TEAM ALL-AMERICAN: Michaela Onyenwere
Michaela Onyenwere was named an AP Third-Team All-American for the second-straight year, becoming the first Bruin in program history to earn a spot on one of the first three AP All-America teams in two separate seasons. It also the third time in the last four years a Bruin has been named to one of the AP's three All-America teams, as Bruin great Jordin Canada ('18) also took home third-team accolades in 2018. Maylana Martin secured UCLA's only other All-America accolade in 1999 (Third-Team). The Aurora, Colo., native leads the Bruins with 18.7 points per game and has scored in double figures in all but two of UCLA's contests this year. She has compiled five 20+ point performances, including three games with at least 30 points. She recorded a career-high 33 points in the team's road win over Oregon (Jan. 3), adding 10 rebounds for the double-double. Ahead of the NCAA Tournament, she has tallied 1,842 points for sixth place on the Bruins' all-time scoring list.
RECORD-BREAKING SHOOTING PERFORMANCES
The Bruins put together a pair of record-breaking shooting performances in their last two regular season games. The team knocked down 16 triples on just 23 attempts (69.6%) against the Trojans (Feb. 26), the most three-pointers in a single game in team history. Michaela Onyenwere and Lindsey Corsaro combined to shoot 10-11 from beyond the arc, with Onyenwere going a perfect 6-6 from distance. This performance followed the team's game against Oregon State (Feb. 21), which saw the Bruins go a perfect 17-for-17 from the free throw line. It was the most free throws made without a miss in team history.
Sophomore guard Charisma Osborne put together a sensational performance in UCLA's regular-season finale against the Trojans (Feb. 26), scoring 18 points to go along with 12 assists and 10 rebounds for a triple-double. She also didn't record a single turnover in 34 minutes of game action. It was the ninth triple-double in team history, and Osborne became just the seventh-ever Bruin to achieve the feat. It was the first-triple double since Japreece Dean notched 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists against Yale on Nov. 26, 2019. Osborne's 12 assists tied Jordin Canada (Nov. 18, 2016 vs. Southern) for the most assists in a triple-double in team history.
ALL-PAC-12 HONOREES: ONYENWERE, OSBORNE, BESSOIR, CHOU
Michaela Onyenwere and Charisma Osborne garnered All-Pac-12 honors, the Pac-12 announced Monday. Osborne also earned a spot on the All-Defensive team while Emily Bessoir received All-Freshman acclaim. Awards and honorees were determined following a vote from the league's head coaches.
Onyenwere was named an All-Pac-12 honoree for the third-consecutive season, becoming UCLA's first three-time honoree since Jordin Canada (2016-18). The senior is averaging 18.2 points per game and has moved into ninth place on UCLA's all-time scoring list with 1,788 points. The Aurora, Colo., native has notched five double-doubles on the year, including a dominant performance against Oregon (Jan. 3) that saw her post a career-high 33 points to go with 10 boards.
Osborne was named to the All-Pac-12 list for the first time in her career. The sophomore is averaging a career-high 17.8 points per game after notching just 12.2 ppg a year ago. She has scored in double figures in all but two of the Bruins' games this season and put together a streak of seven-straight 20+ point performances from Jan. 3 – Feb. 7. The Moreno Valley, Calif., native posted a dominant performance against USC (Feb. 26), putting up 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists for just the ninth triple-double in program history. Osborne also earned a spot on the All-Defensive team.
Bessoir was named to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team, marking the fourth-consecutive season a Bruin has been tabbed to the All-Freshman squad. The Munich, Germany native is fourth on the team with 7.9 points per game and has scored in double figures in six games this season. Bessoir has been clutch in important moments this season, scoring a career-high 15 points against then-No. 1 Stanford (Dec. 21) and knocking down a dagger three-pointer in the team's win over Arizona State (Jan. 29).
Natalie Chou was an Honorable Mention for the All-Pac-12 list, as she received at least one vote from the Conference's head coaches. Chou is averaging a career-high 10.4 points per game, exceeding her previous career-best average of 7.4 (2019-20).
ONYENWERE: SENIOR CLASS AWARD FINALIST
Senior forward Michaela Onyenwere has been named a finalist for the 2020-21 Senior CLASS Award, the award announced on Feb. 22. The candidates selected are those who excel both on and off the court, and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character, and competition. Off the court, Onyenwere has had a tremendous impact on UCLA Women's Basketball's social justice efforts this season, as she helped establish the team's More Than a D.R.E.A.M. initiative in response to the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Onyenwere's on-court accomplishments are extensive, to say the least, as she has become one of the all-time greats to play at UCLA.