This Friday, January 5th, #16 Oregon State heads down to Los Angeles for their first road trip of the conference schedule. Friday the Beavers will face the 14th ranked UCLA Bruins at Pauley Pavilion. Tip-off is at 6:00 PM and the game can be viewed on PAC12-Oregon, or listened to on Oregon State All-Access. If neither option is available, the OSU Women’s twitter account should keep you updated.
UCLA (10-3 Overall, 1-1 PAC-12, #14 in both polls)
UCLA is coming off a very strange opening week of conference play. Last Friday they dropped their conference opener against unranked Stanford 76-65, before pounding the 20th ranked Cal Bears 82-46. The outcome of this week’s game will depend on which Bruins squad shows up.
Monique Billings has been the Bruins leader on offense and defense this season. The senior forward is averaging 15.1 points per game, and 8.9 rebounds per game. The matchup between Billings and OSU star Marie Gülich may prove to be the most important of the night.
One other player to watch for the Bruins is Guard Jordin Canada. Canada has been an expert at feeding the ball to Billings, with a total of 86 assists and an average of 6.6 per game. She’s also the team’s second leading scorer, with 14.8 points per game.
The Beavers managed massive second half comebacks in their two conference games so far, but one half of good play is not going to be enough against the Bruins. Oregon State doesn’t have a big road win, and taking down UCLA could secure their spot as the number 2 team in the conference behind Oregon.
Monique Billings and Marie Gülich should have a fierce battle under the rim, and I think whoever wins that wins the game. I’m going with the Beavers in a squeaker, in what should be one of the most exciting games so far this season.