Bruins Dominate Wyoming, Advance to NCAA Second Round
AUSTIN, Texas - Michaela Onyenwere scored a game-high 25 points, Charisma Osborne posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Natalie Chou added 15 points, as the third-seeded Bruins won their NCAA Tournament opener on Monday at the Frank Erwin Center with a 69-48 win over No. 14-seed Wyoming.
Onyenwere was 9-for-17 from the field, making all six of her free throws and adding seven rebounds. Osborne, who tied a season high in rebounds, was 6-of-10 with four assists, while Chou made three from beyond the arc and added six boards. Lauryn Miller had seven rebounds and six points, Emily Bessoir notched eight rebounds and four points and Lindsey Corsaro added four points. The Bruins (17-5) shot 42.6 percent from the field.
Chou opened the scoring with a triple from the left elbow extended, but Wyoming answered back with a three-pointer from Alba Sanchez Ramos (9:11). A three-point play from Osborne and a basket inside from Onyenwere pushed UCLA ahead 10-3 (7:42). The teams then exchanged three-pointers, putting the Bruins up 13-6 at the first media stoppage (4:08). Osborne converted a driving lay-in to push the lead to 10 before Quinn Weidemann hit a jumper at the other end (17-9). Onyenwere could not be contained in the opening quarter, converting two more baskets to extend the lead to 23-9. Wyoming scored in the paint to make it a 23-11 game at the end of one.
The teams exchanged baskets to open the second quarter and the Bruins jumped out to a 27-13 lead (8:12). Weidemann then knocked down a triple at the top of the key before Corsaro answered with a driving layup from the right side (32-17). After Osborne drove strong to the paint for another basket, Onyenwere hit a fade-away jumper to make it a 36-19 game at the second quarter media stoppage (3:38). Osborne scored another layup before Dagny Davidsdottir knocked down a turnaround jumper to make it a 38-21 game with 2:04 to play. Bessoir would score a put-back lay-in at the end of the second quarter, putting the Bruins ahead, 40-26 at the half.
Onyenwere led all scorers with 15 points at the break. Osborne added nine points. Sanchez Ramos and Weidemann led the Cowgirls with seven points apiece.
The Cowgirls opened the scoring in the second half with a layup from Sanchez Ramos, but UCLA answered with six-straight points to take a 46-28 lead with 6:59 to play. Sanchez Ramos knocked down a triple to stop UCLA's run, but Chou answered right back with a corner three to make it 49-31. Leading 50-32, Osborne knocked down a pair of free throws before Sanchez Ramos converted a put-back lay-in (2:53). After free throws from Bradshaw, Chou knocked down her third triple of the evening to push the lead to 61-38 (1:00). UCLA would take a 61-41 lead into the fourth quarter after a triple from Bradshaw.
A basket from Jaye Johnson at the 7:37 mark was the only bucket from either team after the first three minutes of action in the fourth quarter. Osborne banked in a jumper at the 5:45 mark before Weidemann converted a pair from the line and followed with a jumper to make it 63-47 (4:32). After a Sanchez Ramos free throw with 2:38 to go, the Bruins scored the final six points on a Chou layup, a pair of Onyenwere free throws and a Miller jumper just before the buzzer.
UCLA is advancing to its fifth-straight NCAA Second Round appearance and is set to square off against No. 6 seed Texas on Wednesday, March 24. Game time is at 6 p.m. PT at The Alamodome in San Antonio. The game will air on ESPN2.