UCLA shot a disappointing 28 percent from the field dropping a close game to the determined Oregon State Beavers 71-64.
“In this conference, you can never have a game where you don’t come out and play your best,” said Junior guard Lindsey Corsaro. “Every team is a really good team.”
The Beavers saw a chance to take down the eighth ranked Bruins adding to their resume and stepped up to the challenge.
Down five at half the Bruins had an abysmal first two quarters. Shooting 26 percent from the field, UCLA looked rusty and nothing like the Pac-12 powerhouse their 11-3 conference record states.
The lone bright spot of the first half for the Bruins was the 12 free throws attempted and made in the half keeping the deficit close.
Oregon State shot 40 percent from the field in half led by Senior guard Aleah Goodman’s 11 points and Freshman guard Talia Von Oelhoffen scoring 10 points.
After two quarters of play, Michaela Onyenwere was the Bruins lone double figure scorer with 13 points. Natalie Chou, UCLA’s Senior guard and a pure scoring machine shot an uncharacteristic 0-for-5 from the field in the half. A key reason the Bruins trailed at the break.
The Bruins could not be held in check for long. UCLA outscored the Beavers 21-15 in the third quarter carrying a 52-51 lead to the fourth.
UCLA needed an offensive spark and Chou’s surge ending her scoreless dry spell netting seven points was the exact recipe the Bruins needed.
UCLA trailed by two 63-61, after a Michaela Onyenwere’s layup with 2:10 left in regulation. Desperate for a Beavers miss the Oregon State guard Aleah Goodman was left open drilling a three pointer for her 18th point with 1:32 remaining in the game.
The 66-61 deficit was never challenged in the final minute by the Bruins snapping their three game winning streak.
“We didn’t make our rebounding numbers, passion play numbers, and kill numbers and we made all of those the other night,” emphasized UCLA Head Coach Cori Close. “I’m really disappointed our defense wasn’t our anchor.”
The Bruins failed to complete the sweep against the Oregon schools this season.
When asked what’s next for the Bruins Corsaro said, “Take this feeling and this game and learn from it. The next time we lose that might be the end of our season.”
UCLA has one more game before postseason play and that comes against rivals USC next Sunday at Pauley Pavilion as both teams seek to strengthen their record before tournament play.