The 12th ranked Oregon State Beavers Women’s basketball team looks to take on the UCLA Bruins in game 29 of the season. Tip-off is slated for 1 PM PST on Sunday, February 24th. You can watch the game on the PAC-12 Network, or check out the team’s Twitter page for other ways to follow along live. Let’s take a closer look at the Bruins.
UCLA (17-10 overall, 10-5 conference) (9-6 overall, 2-1 conference)
Last season: 27-8 overall, 14-4 in PAC-12 (4th), lost in Elite Eight of NCAA Tournament
Since these teams last met, the UCLA Bruins are 8-3 and have won eight of their last nine. Among their wins are three impressive road performances against #19 Arizona State, formerly ranked Utah, and #2 Oregon. In Eugene, UCLA found themselves in a hole that was bigger than the one Oregon State found themselves in on Friday night. Down 22, the Bruins roared back to upset the Ducks, just a few days after the Beavers toppled the green-and-yellow wearers.
Back on January 11th, the Beavers dispatched the Bruins in Los Angeles by narrowly winning every quarter en route to a ten-point win. Oregon State was led by Destiny Slocum and Mikayla Pivec who scored 43 of the team’s 83 points. UCLA likely has another upset on their mind after their big win in Eugene and seeing Oregon State struggle against the USC Trojans.
According to ESPN’s Bracketology by Charlie Cream, UCLA is sitting in at the eighth-seed in the Chicago Regional while Oregon State is the third-seed in the Albany Regional. It’s likely the Bruins are already moving up after Friday night’s win, but they can significantly boost their position with another on Sunday.
Who to watch
#21 - Michaela Onyenwere, Sophomore Forward
The Bruins’ lead-woman at 17.7 points per game had an off night against the #2 Ducks, but she’ll look to get back on track against the Beavers. Prior to Friday night, Onyewere had scored at least 20 points in six of the previous seven games. In her last outing against Oregon State, she scored 24 points while going 8-of-9 from the free-throw line.
#22 - Kennedy Burke, Senior Guard
Burke is coming off a career performance against the #2 Ducks while Onyenwere played sparingly because of foul trouble. The senior scored 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting with eight rebounds, two assists, and a steal while playing in all but two minutes of the contest. The last time out against the Beavers she scored 18 points.
#24 - Japreece Dean, Senior Guard
The 5’6’’ senior scored 14 points on Friday night in Eugene, but her biggest impact came as a facilitator with a season high nine assists. She was shut down by the Beavers last time going 0-for-5 from the floor for zero points, but don’t expect to see that again.
UCLA is coming in hot off that win in Eugene and will be hungry to knock off another ranked opponent to better position themselves for the NCAA Tournament. Oregon State is still looking to find their three-point range since they have not shot above 32% from downtown in the last five games. This game will likely come down to the wire like Friday night, but just like then, I expect the Beavers to use late-game heroics to sweep the Southern California schools for the first time since 2015.