Bruins to Play at Oregon Wednesday
UCLA Bruins (11-8, 6-6) at Oregon (16-8, 9-4)
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022
Time: 4:00 p.m. PT
Location: Eugene, Ore. (Matt Knight Arena)
Watch: Pac-12 Network (Ann Schatz, Mary Murphy)
Radio: ucla.leanplayer.com (Dave Marcus)
SERIES HISTORY / SCOUTING REPORT: Oregon Ducks
Wednesday's matchup between the Bruins and Ducks is the 72nd all-time game in the series, with UCLA holding a 37-34 advantage. The Bruins swept the season series last year, beating the Ducks in Eugene, 73-71, and in Los Angeles, 83-56. UCLA has won the last two matchups at Matt Knight Arena, including a 74-69 victory in 2019. Wednesday's game is a non-conference game, as it is a makeup game from the Jan. 28 matchup that UCLA had to forfeit due to injuries unrelated to active COVID-19 cases.
The Ducks enter Wednesday's game with a 16-8 overall and 9-4 record in conference play. They are coming off a 68-62 home loss to Oregon State on Sunday, two days after beating the Beavers on the road, 74-66. Oregon is led by Nyara Sabally, who paces the squad in both scoring (15.8 ppg, ranked fifth in the Pac-12) and rebounding (6.7 rpg). Endyia Rogers (14.3 ppg) and Te-Hina Paopao (13.5 ppg) also average in double figures. All three players earned All-Pac-12 honors last season.
LAST GAME -- UCLA at Washington (Feb. 13)
After trailing 37-32 at the half, UCLA rallied to victory at Washington, 69-61. Charisma Osborne and IImar'I Thomas keyed the second-half comeback, with Osborne scoring 14 of her game-high 22 points and Thomas adding 10 of her 11 points after the break. The two Bruins combined to convert eight of 10 field goals, including five of six three-point shots after halftime. Chantel Horvat chipped in with 13 points and nine rebounds. Washington made the first basket of the second half to extend its advantage to seven points, but the Bruins scored 12 unanswered to take the lead for good.
LOOKING BACK -- UCLA vs. Oregon (Feb. 19, 2021)
Five Bruins scored in double figures as No. 8 UCLA rolled to an 83-56 defeat and regular-season sweep of No. 13 Oregon on Feb. 19, 2021 in Pauley Pavilion presented by Wescom. The win was UCLA's third over a Top 15 team that season. Michaela Onyenwere led the balanced UCLA scoring effort with 17 points. Lauryn Miller added a season-high 16, Natalie Chou scored 14 points, Charisma Osborne contributed 13, and Chantal Horvat added 10 points off the bench. The Bruins nearly doubled up the Ducks on the boards, 47-24.
OSBORNE IN MIX FOR MULTIPLE YEAR-END AWARDS
Junior guard Charisma Osborne remains in the mix for several year-end awards, being selected to the Late Season Top 20 Watch List for the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy's, the Midseason Watch List for the Jersey Mike's Naismith Trophy, and the Top 10 Watch List for the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award. Osborne is currently second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 17.5 points per game. She has scored in double figures in 16 of the 17 games she has played this season and has seven 20-point games to her credit, including two consecutive (22 at Washington Feb. 13 and 23 at Washington State Feb. 11). She also has a 27-point effort at USC on Jan. 23 and a 26-point output against UConn on Dec. 11. Earlier this season, Osborne joined UCLA's 1,000-point club and now has 1,066 career points.
NOTES ON THE BRUINS
• UCLA has two players ranked in the Top 6 in scoring in the Pac-12 (No. 2 Charisma Osborne - 17.5 and No. 6 IImar'I Thomas - 15.7). No other school has more than one player in the Top 10.
• UCLA leads the Pac-12 with just 12.9 turnovers per game.
• UCLA ranks No. 3 in the Pac-12 in free throw percentage (.757) and No. 4 in turnover margin (+2.89) and assist/turnover ratio (1.11).
• Osborne had a pair of 20-point games over the weekend, recording game-highs of 23 points at Washington State and 22 points at Washington. She has seven 20+ point performances this season.
• UCLA is 11-1 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 37 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 1,066 career points.
• Osborne made her 150th career three-pointer at Washington State (Feb. 11) and drained five more at Washington to bring her total to 157 in her career.
• Osborne has dished out 189 assists across her career, just 11 away from 200.
• Natalie Chou has scored 997 points across her career, just three 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 285 career assists, just 15 away from 300. She is also 31 rebounds shy of 1,000 career rebounds.
• Jaelynn Penn has scored 1,469 career points, just 31 away from 1,500. Penn has dished out 236 career assists, 14 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 Dugalic, a transfer from Oregon, made her first Bruin appearance on Feb. 11 at Washington State, playing 16 minutes and grabbing 4 rebounds. Dugalic scored her first points as a Bruin the following game at Washington, netting two baskets and snagging three rebounds in 14 minutes of action. Junior guard Camryn Brown returned on Jan. 30 at Oregon State after her ACL injury suffered at the end of 2020-21 and has started the last three games. Junior forward Brynn Masikewich made her first appearance since 2019-20 during the Bruins' Jan. 26 game against Arizona and also saw action at Oregon State on Jan. 30. Additionally, Jaelynn Penn returned on Feb. 13 from a hand injury that kept her out of seven games. She had started the season's first 11 games prior to her injury.
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 17.5 points per game and graduate transfer forward IImar'I Thomas sixth at 15.7 points per game. Osborne has two consecutive 20-point games, scoring game-highs of 23 points at Washington State and 22 points at Washington) and also 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 17 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 16 of 17 games she has played this season, and Thomas has reached double figures in in 14 of UCLA's last 15 contests and in 17 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 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.
PROLIFIC CAREER -- IImar'I Thomas at Cincinnati
Graduate forward IImar'I Thomas currently ranks sixth in the Pac-12 with 15.7 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 currently has 2,223 points and 969 rebounds. Thomas was the 2021 AAC Player of the Year after averaging 23.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per contest. The three-time first-team All-AAC selection and 2018 AAC Freshman of the Year scored in double figures 89 times as a Bearcat and recorded 37 games with at least 20 points.
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 vs. Colorado (Feb. 18), Utah (Feb. 20)
After Wednesday's game at Oregon, the Bruins will return home to host Colorado (Feb. 18) and Utah (Feb. 20) in the final home series of the season. Friday's contest against Colorado is UCLA's annual Play4Kay game, while Sunday is Senior Day.