Women's Basketball Wraps up Washington Trip Sunday in Seattle
UCLA Bruins (10-8, 5-6) at Washington (5-12, 0-9)
Date: Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022
Time: 12:00 p.m. PT
Location: Seattle, Wash. (Alaska Airlines Arena at HEC Edmundson Pavilion)
Watch: Pac-12 Network (Elise Woodward, Alyssa Charlston)
Radio: ucla.leanplayer.com (Dave Marcus)
SERIES HISTORY / SCOUTING REPORT: Washington Huskies
Sunday's matchup between the Bruins and Huskies is the 70th all-time game in the series, with UCLA holding a 36-33 advantage. The Bruins have won the last three games in the head-to-head series, including a 58-47 victory in the 2021 Pac-12 Tournament quarterfinals and a 63-48 triumph in a matchup earlier this season in Westwood (Jan. 14).
The Huskies enter Sunday's game with a 5-12 overall record and an 0-9 mark in conference play. They are coming off a 70-59 loss to USC on Friday night, which extended their current losing streak to nine games. Washington is led by forward Haley Van Dyke, who paces the squad in both scoring (10.8 ppg) and rebound (8.1 rpg). Center Nancy Mulkey has also been a key contributor with averages of 10.2 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. With 7 points, Mulkey was Washington's top scorer against the Trojans on Friday.
RECAP -- UCLA at Washington State (Feb. 11)
Charisma Osborne tallied a game-high 23 points but the Bruins fell just short in a 66-65 heartbreaker at Washington State on Friday night. The Bruins trailed by a small margin for most of the game, but looked to have taken control of the contest after going on a 14-0 run in the second half, including 12 unanswered points to start the fourth quarter (which put the Bruins ahead 54-47). WSU answered with a run of its own to set up a back-and-forth battle down the stretch. Osborne carved through the WSU defense for a lay-up to give UCLA the lead with 20 seconds remaining, but Krystal Leger-Walker converted on an old-fashioned 3-point play just before time expired to deliver the win for the Cougars. Ilmar'I Thomas added 18 points and a team-high 6 rebounds for UCLA.
LOOKING BACK -- UCLA vs. Washington (Jan. 14)
UCLA outscored Washington, 23-10, in the third quarter, turning a 27-24 halftime deficit into a 63-48 victory in Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 14. Forward IImar'I Thomas and guard Jaelynn Penn combined for 32 of UCLA's 39 second-half points, with Thomas finishing with a game-high 25 points on 12-of-18 shooting and Penn totaling 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Guard Charisma Osborne joined them in double-figures with 11 points. The Bruins shot .519 in the game and .a blistering .786 in the third quarter, hitting 11 of 14 shots. UCLA's defense held the Huskies to .383 shooting and just 22 rebounds to the Bruins' 32.
OSBORNE NAMED TO LATE SEASON WOODEN AWARD WATCH LIST
Junior guard Charisma Osborne was selected to the Late Season Top 20 Watch List for the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's. Osborne is currently second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.3 points per game. She has scored in double figures in 15 of the 16 games she has played this season and has six 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 1,044 career points.
NOTES ON THE BRUINS
• UCLA has two players ranked in the Top 5 in scoring in the Pac-12 (No. 2 Charisma Osborne - 17.3 and No. 5 IImar'I Thomas - 15.9). No other school has more than one player in the Top 10.
• UCLA's 13.3 turnovers per game rank second in the Pac-12, just behind league-leading Arizona (13.2).
• UCLA ranks No. 3 in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.767) and No. 4 in turnover margin (+2.44).
• Osborne scored a team-high 23 points at Washington State on Friday, her sixth 20+ point performance of the year.
• Osborne had a double-figure scoring streak of 17 games snapped last Sunday after an eight-point performance against Cal.
• UCLA is 10-1 this season when holding its opponent under 70 points, its lone loss coming at Washington State Friday (66-65).
• Natalie Chou has started every game this season and 36 consecutive games dating back to last season.
• Friday marked UCLA's first one-point game of the year (the Bruins have played two consecutive games with a margin of five points or fewer after going 16 in a row to start the year with a margin of at least six).
UCLA MILESTONE WATCH
• 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 1,044 career points.
• Osborne made her 150th career three-pointer at Washington State (Feb. 11) and now has 152 in her career.
• Osborne has dished out 184 assists across her career, just 16 away from 200.
• Natalie Chou has scored 990 points across her career, just 10 away from 1,000.
• Chantel Horvat recorded her 500th career point at Washington State (Feb. 11) and her 100th career assist vs. Cal (Feb. 6).
• IImar'I Thomas has dished out 281 assists across her career, just 19 away from 300.
• 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.
ON THE MEND
The Bruins are starting to get more players back in the rotation, with three players all making their season debuts in the past three weeks. Redshirt freshman forward Angela Dugalić, a transfer from Oregon, made her first Bruin appearance on Feb. 11 at Washington State, playing 16 minutes and grabbing 4 rebounds. Junior guard Camryn Brown returned on Jan. 30 at Oregon State after her ACL injury suffered at the end of 2020-21. Junior forward Brynn Masikewich made her first appearance since 2019-20 during the Bruins' Jan. 26 game against Arizona.
UCLA, OREGON SCHEDULE NEW GAME FEB. 16
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.
UCLA's 1-2 PUNCH -- Charisma Osborne and IImar'I Thomas
UCLA is the only Pac-12 team with a pair of players among the league's Top 10 scorers, with junior guard Charisma Osborne currently second with 17.3 points per game and graduate transfer forward IImar'I Thomas fifth at 15.9 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 16 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 10+ points in 15 of 16 games she has played this season, and Thomas has reached double figures in in 13 of UCLA's last 14 contests and in 16 games total.
ELITE RECRUITING CLASS -- Class of 2022
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 Dugalić (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.
PROLIFIC CAREER -- IImar'I Thomas at Cincinnati
Graduate forward IImar'I Thomas currently ranks fifth in the Pac-12 with 15.9 points per game and recently had a 20-point outing in the team's win over USC (Jan. 20) and a double-double (16 points/12 rebounds) against Cal (Feb. 6). Thomas transferred to UCLA this past offseason following a sensational four-year career with Cincinnati. She ranked third all-time in scoring there with 1,925 points and is the only player in program history to record 1,900+ points and 800+ rebounds. She was the 2021 AAC Player of the Year after averaging 23.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest. Thomas scored in double figures 89 times as a Bearcat and recorded 37 games with at least 20 points. She was a three-time First Team All-AAC selection and the 2018 AAC Freshman of the Year.
WATCH LIST RECOGNITION
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 Oregon (Feb. 16)
After Sunday's game at Washington, the Bruins will play a non-conference game at Oregon on Wednesday, Feb. 16. The game will take place at 4pm and be televised on Pac-12 Networks.