UCLA Rides 78-69 Victory over the Waves in Season Opener
LOS ANGELES – Charisma Osborne scored a game-high 24 points and IImar'I Thomas, in her first game in a UCLA uniform, totaled 21 points as No. 20 UCLA (1-0, 0-0) defeated Pepperdine (0-1, 0-0) by a score of 78-69 Wednesday night in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom.
Pepperdine jumped out to an 8-3 lead before Thomas registered her first basket as a Bruin to make it 8-5 (6:40). Natalie Chou tied the game with a triple before three-straight three-pointers from Pepperdine made it 17-9. The Waves led 20-13 before Jaelynn Penn hit a short jumper to cut the deficit to five. A jumper from Pepperdine beat the buzzer and the Waves took a 22-15 lead into the second quarter.
The Bruins opened the second quarter on an 13-0 run to take a 26-22 lead, forcing a timeout from Pepperdine at the 7:01 mark. UCLA led 29-25 before a pair of triples from the Waves put Pepperdine back in front, 31-29 (5:22). UCLA trailed 37-31 before Thomas scored five-straight, cutting the deficit to one. Osborne connected on a short jumper to put the Bruins back in front before the Waves surged again, jumping back ahead, 42-40. A pair of free throws from the Bruins sent the teams into the locker rooms tied at 42.
Thomas led the Bruins with 17 points at the break. Pepperdine was deadly from long range in the first half, connecting on 13 triples in the first 20 minutes.
Osborne drained a triple to open the third quarter to give the Bruins a 45-42 lead. UCLA led 49-42 before Izzy Anstey and Osborne knocked down buckets to make 53-42, forcing a timeout from the Pepperdine bench. The Waves scored two-straight buckets out of the stoppage, but Thomas continued to dominate inside, scoring to make it 57-47. Pepperdine kept firing and cut it to 57-52, but Osborne answered with a triple from the elbow extended (60-52).
A bucket from Pepperdine to start the fourth cut UCLA's led to 60-56. UCLA led 62-58 before a triple from Stedman cut the lead to one with seven minutes to play. The Bruins went up 67-61 ahead of another strong bucket inside from Thomas (69-61). Penn knocked down a short jumper to make it a 12-point game and UCLA held on for the remainder of the contest.
The Bruins return home to Pauley Pavilion to take on local foe CSUN on Thursday, Nov. 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm. An in-house live stream will be provided to cover the live action.