Los Angeles – No. 8 UCLA overcame a 14-point third quarter deficit by rallying past No. 15 Oregon State in overtime Monday, 83-74.
Freshman Charisma Osborne, who finished with a career-high 22 points, got an assist from Michaela Onyenwere after she stole the ball, with 3:30 left in the extra period. Osborne then swished a three-pointer to turn the Bruins’ five-point lead into a 76-68 advantage. They led by as much as 11 before staving off the upset.
Japreece Dean had 22 points and 12 assists for UCLA, Osborne grabbed eight rebounds, and Onyenwere scored 16 points and had 11 rebounds.
Osborne, who was 4-10 from behind the arc, missed all of her three-point attempts in the Bruins’ loss to Oregon Friday. Coach Cori Close said the young guard took her performance to heart and asked to meet with her to discuss what she could do better. She also came early to practice to watch film.
“This is not coming just because she’s a talented individual; she is putting in the work,” Close said. “Credit to her work ethic. It’s not easy to do as a freshman.”
Onyenwere, who was partnered with Osborne as a mentor last summer, said she has encouraged her.
“I’ve had a lot of talks with Charisma, and I told her the other day, ‘I have the utmost trust in you,'” Onyenwere said.
The win gives UCLA sole possession of third place in the Pac-12, with an 11-3 record. Sixth-place Oregon State, struggling under the weight of multiple injuries, dropped their second consecutive game after being upset by USC Friday.
The Beavers outshot and outrebounded the Bruins in regulation play, keeping them off balance with stifling defense. But the hosts forced their opponents into an uncharacteristic 24 turnovers on the night, and were able to score 23 points off of those opportunities.
Osborne and Dean spearheaded the comeback in the third period with nine points a piece. The fourth quarter saw balanced contributions from several players, highlighted by five points from reserve guard Kiara Jefferson that electrified the 6,000 in attendance.
“It came down to defensive rebounding and limiting them to one shot in that stretch, which allowed us to get some easy baskets in transition,” Close said.
Two weeks ago Oregon State lost starter Kennedy Brown for the season to a torn ACL. Coach Scott Rueck said the team is still trying to find their footing.
“I really liked our effort, and I thought we bounced back extremely well from a disheartening loss the other night,” he said. “We’re still in flux, we’re still trying to figure out life without Kennedy, and what that looks like. We’ve got different people in different spots.”
Starters Mikayla Pivec, who finished with 19 points, and Taylor Jones, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds, both fouled out late in the match up. Rueck said it made a big difference.
“We had two starters on the bench (in OT), and that’s not helpful,” he said. “Mik is not known for fouling and we’re not known for fouling….and over the last few weeks, we had 21 against Arizona and 22 against USC. Then in this game I have Taylor Jones sitting next to me and Mik sitting next to me in OT. That was the main difference.”
Destiny Slocum had 19 points for Oregon State and Jasmine Simmons, 11.
UCLA heads north next to take on the Washington schools, while the Beavers travel to the Bay to face Stanford and Cal.