UCLA Women’s Basketball Runs Away From Fresno State, Freshmen Shine

The Bruins overcame a rough opening few minutes to put up one of their most one-sided victories of the season, thanks in large part to a late push by the team’s young core.

No. 11 UCLA women’s basketball (12-1, 1-0 Pac-12) defeated Fresno State (7-6, 0-0 Mountain West) 82-48 at Pauley Pavilion on Tuesday night. The Bruins dominated in almost every statistical category outside of 3-point shooting, slowly building their lead over time until it became a blowout in the second half.

It didn’t look like things would turn out that way early on, considering three of the first four field goal makes belonged to the Bulldogs. UCLA didn’t score a point until almost three minutes into the contest, and they didn’t take their first lead until the the 4:17 mark in the first quarter.

The Bruins closed the opening frame on a 15-3 run and also hit the first shot of the second, only for the Bulldogs to hit a pair of 3-pointers and stage an 8-0 run that made it a two-point game again .

UCLA answered with a 13-0 run, though, and it was all blue and gold from that point on.

Guard Charisma Osborne hit a layup to create a little breathing room, then hit drained a 3-pointer to nearly double the lead. Forward Gabriela Jaquez followed that up with a triple of her own, then guard Kiki Rice converted on an and-1.

The Bruins went into halftime up 40-25, then opened the third quarter on a 14-4 run to go up by as many as 25. When the Bulldogs tried to claw their way back into things with a 10-0 run in the final two minutes of the frame – with seven of those points coming from the free throw line – Jaquez hit a layup just before the buzzer to stem the bleeding.

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Jaquez hit a layup to start the fourth, sparking yet another 14-4 run in favor of UCLA. Fresno State, meanwhile, hit just one shot in the final six minutes, allowing the Bruins to close the night on a 10-0 run and increase the gap to 34.

Osborne led UCLA with 16 points on an efficient 7-of-11 shooting from the field, but the team’s next five leading scorers were all true freshmen. Jaquez dropped a career-high 15 points to go along with her four steals and a team-best plus-37 plus/minus, while Rice scored 14 points and guard Londynn Jones added 10.

The Bruins’ next two leading scorers were tied with six points apiece – freshmen forwards Lina Sontag and Christeen Iwuala.

UCLA’s bench outscored Fresno State’s by 18, and the Bruins had a 30-point advantage in the paint, a 13-point advantage off of turnovers, a 13-point advantage on second-chance opportunities and a seven-point advantage on the fast break .

The next time UCLA takes the floor will be for Pac-12 play, which opens at Oregon on Dec. 30. The Bruins and Ducks’ showdown in Eugene will be televised on Pac-12 Networks and is scheduled to tip off at 6 pm

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