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Women's Basketball Heads to Washington Schools

Feb 9, 2022

UCLA Bruins (10-7, 5-5) at Washington State (14-7, 6-4)
Date: Friday, Feb. 11, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. PT
Location: Pullman, Wash. (Beasley Coliseum)
Watch: Pac-12 Network (Greg Heister, Angela Taylor)
Radio: (Dave Marcus)

Friday's matchup between UCLA (10-7, 5-5) and Washington State (14-7, 6-4) is the 68th all-time matchup between the programs. The Bruins lead the all-time series, 58-9, and have won seven of the last eight. UCLA won the earlier matchup in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom, 71-58, on Jan. 16. The teams split in 2021, with UCLA winning on Jan. 17 at home, 68-66, and Washington State winning in Pullman on Feb. 5, 67-63.

The Cougars enter Friday's game with a 14-7 overall record and a 6-4 mark in conference play. They are coming off a 72-66 loss at Utah that snapped a four-game winning streak. Washington State is led in scoring by guard Charlisse Leger-Walker, who averages 17.2 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Leger-Walker averaged 22.5 points over two games this weekend to jump ahead of Charisma Osborne into second place in the Pac-12 in scoring. Guard Johanna Teder also averages in double-figure scoring with a 10.6 points per game average.

RECAP -- UCLA vs. California (Feb. 6)
IImar'I Thomas scored a team-high 16 points and notched her first double-double of the season with 12 rebounds as the Bruins defeated California, 59-54. Trailing by one late in the third period, the Bears scored eight unanswered points in one minute to take a seven-point lead with 19 seconds remaining on the clock. A buzzer-beating layup by Camryn Brown cut the lead to five at the end of the period and served as the catalyst for the Bruins' 28-18 blitz in the fourth. Natalie Chou scored eight of her 11 points in the final stanza, and Thomas and Charisma Osborne added six apiece.

LOOKING BACK -- UCLA vs. Washington State (Jan. 16)
UCLA extended its home unbeaten streak against Washington State to 34-0 following a 71-58 victory on Jan. 16. Charisma Osborne scored a game-high 25 points, and Jaelynn Penn added 17 as the Bruins utilized a 22-11 fourth period scoring advantage to turn a two-point lead after three into a 13-point victory. Charlisse Leger-Walker played the full 40 minutes for the Cougars and scored 24 points with nine rebounds. Ula Motuga was the only other Cougar to score in double-figures, totaling 13.

Junior guard Charisma Osborne was selected to the Late Season Top 20 Watch List for the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's, the Top 10 Watch List for the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award, and the Midseason Watch List for the Jersey Mike's Naismith Player of the Year Award. Osborne is currently third in the Pac-12 in scoring at 16.9 points per game. She has scored in double figures in 14 of the 15 games she has played this season and has five 20-point games to her credit, including a 27-point effort at USC on Jan. 23 and a 26-point output against UConn on Dec. 11. Osborne also drained a career-high seven three-pointers against the Huskies. Earlier this season, Osborne joined UCLA's 1,000-point club and now has 1,021 career points.

• UCLA has two players ranked in the Top 6 in scoring in the Pac-12 (No. 3 Charisma Osborne - 16.9 and No. 6 IImar'I Thomas - 15.8). No other school has more than one player in the Top 10.
• UCLA's 13.2 turnovers per game average is the lowest among all Pac-12 squads.
• UCLA ranks No. 3 in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.768), assist/turnover ratio (1.10) and turnover margin (+2.59).
• Osborne scored a season-high 27 points in UCLA's win at USC, her fourth game with at least 25 points this season.
• Osborne had a double-figure scoring streak of 17 games snapped on Sunday after an eight-point performance against Cal.
• UCLA is 10-0 this season when holding its opponent under 70 points.
• Natalie Chou has started every game this season and 35 consecutive games dating back to last season.

• Charisma Osborne became the 38th player to join the 1,000 point club at UCLA after scoring 13 against Arizona (Jan. 26). She now has 1,021 career points.
• Osborne has knocked down 149 three-pointers across her career, just one away from 150.
• Osborne has dished out 182 assists across her career, just 18 away from 200.
• Natalie Chou has scored 985 points across her career, just 15 away from 1,000.
• Chantel Horvat has scored 497 points across her career, just 3 away from 500.
• Horvat recorded her 100th career assist on Sunday.
• Jaelynn Penn has scored 1,467 points across her career, just 33 away from 1,500.
• Penn has dished out 235 assists across her career, just 15 away from 250.
• IImar'I Thomas has dished out 280 assists across her career, just 20 away from 300.

UCLA will play at Oregon after all. The game in Eugene Jan. 28 was considered a forfeit by UCLA due to injuries unrelated to active COVID-19 cases, giving the Bruins a conference loss and the Ducks a Pac-12 victory. The game will be made up as a nonconference game on Wednesday, Feb. 16 in Eugene, televised live on Pac-12 Network at 4pm PT.

Two Bruins made their first appearances of the season in the past two weeks, as junior forward Brynn Masikewich made her first appearance since 2019-20 during the Bruins' Jan. 26 game against Arizona, and junior guard Camryn Brown returned on Jan. 30 at Oregon State after missing all season while recovering from an ACL injury suffered at the end of 2020-21.

UCLA's 1-2 PUNCH -- Charisma Osborne and IImar'I Thomas
UCLA is the only team in the Pac-12 with a pair of players among the league's Top 10 scorers, with junior guard Charisma Osborne currently third with 16.9 points per game and graduate transfer forward IImar'I Thomas sixth at 15.8 points per game. Osborne had a 27-point outing in the team's road victory over USC on Jan. 23, securing six rebounds and dishing out three assists in the win. Thomas has impressed in her first season with the Bruins after transferring from Cincinnati, compiling 15 double-digit scoring efforts, including a 32-point performance in UCLA's dominant victory over San Jose State (Dec. 5) and her first double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds) of the season against California (Feb. 6). Osborne has scored in 14 of 15 games she has played this season, and Thomas has reached double figures in in 12 of UCLA's last 13 contests and in 15 games total.

The Bruins have signed ESPN's No. 1 recruiting class in the nation for the high school class of 2022. It's the second No. 1-ranked class for the Bruins, as the 2014 recruiting haul included Lajahna Dummer and Kelli Hayes, as well as future WNBA pros Jordin Canada and Monique Billings. UCLA is now the only Pac-12 school since 2010 to sign multiple No. 1 classes and one of just four schools in the country to accomplish the feat since 2010. Kiki Rice is the highest-ranked recruit in UCLA WBB history, and Gabriela Jaquez is the sister of UCLA MBB star Jaime Jaquez Jr. Both players were recently named McDonald's All-Americans.The current class features:
SIGNEEES: #2-ranked Kiki Rice (5-11 point guard), #19-ranked Gabriela Jaquez (6-0 forward), #22-ranked Londynn Jones (5-5 point guard), #49-ranked Christeen Iwuala (6-3 forward), and German standout Lina Sontag.

WELCOME (BACK) TO WESTWOOD -- Transfers and Returners
The Bruins notably have eight players who did not suit up for the program a season ago. Coach Close reloaded with four transfers to fill out the roster: Gina Conti (point guard, Wake Forest), Angela Dugalic (forward, Oregon), Jaelynn Penn (guard, Indiana), and IImar'I Thomas (forward, Cincinnati). UCLA fans can enjoy the returns of Brynn Masikewich, Kayla Owens, and Kiara Jefferson, none of whom were with the program last season for various reasons. Redshirt freshman Izzy Anstey is also with the team for the first time, as the Australia native was unable to travel to the U.S. last year due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The Bruins have been represented on the following national award watch lists and preseason teams:
• Charisma Osborne: Preseason All-Pac-12 team, Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award Top 20 Watch List, Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List, Wade Watch, Wooden Award Late Season Top 20 Watch List, Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award Top 10 Watch List, Jersey Mike's Naismith Trophy for Women's Player of the Year Midseason Watch List
• Gina Conti: Nancy Lieberman Point Guard of the Year Award Top 20 Watch List, All-Pac-12 team honorable mention
• Natalie Chou: Preseason All-Pac-12 team honorable mention

UP NEXT: UCLA at Washington (Feb. 13)
After Friday's game at Washington State, the Bruins will head to Seattle to face the Huskies on Feb. 13 at Noon. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Los Angeles.