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No. 20 Ranked UCLA Wins Home Opener Against Pepperdine
By Khari Jones Jr., Contributing Writer
Published November 11, 2021

Freshman guard Dominique Onu (2) scored six points against the Pepperdine Waves (Twitter photo)

The Lady Bruins beat Pepperdine in a tough game 78-69, although there many good signs of their greatness, Head Coach Cori Close was not satisfied. Close was disappointed that her team showed lack of energy in the first half.

Charisma Osbourne, who is on three national watch lists for Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy, had a great first game. She finished with 24 points and the transfer Iimar’i Thomas scored 21 points and 6 rebounds in her debut. 

Close said she tries to be as candid as possible and acknowledge her team’s performance was “really poor.” This first game was a battle and the Bruins got the job done without Gina Conti and Angela Dugalic, whom both are suffering from injuries. With that said, Close mentioned she’s not justifying poor effort.

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“The bottom line is the thoughts that you feed are the ones that you’re going to act on, they’re the ones that are going to dictate behavior. And obviously, get our minds. Right.”

Osbourne admitted she was forcing shots in the first half. “In the first half I was kind of forcing some things, taking shots that weren’t the greatest shots.” She said during the second half she reset and played like it was 0-0.

The Bruins were down by nine in the first half, which led to Close’s frustration with the team. Pepperdine could not miss from three in the first half.

After celebrating WNBA Rookie of the Year, former Bruin Michaela Onyenere, the Bruins came out focused and took the lead. Coach Close and Osbourne said they were impressed by Onyenwere’s growth since she’s been in the WNBA.

Forward Thomas and Osbourne put on a show to combat the turnovers in the first half. These two young players will be huge this season according to Close.

Thomas said they will clearly be a great offensive team, it’s just defense and energy they will continue to work. Osbourne said they need to hold themselves to that standard.

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The No. 20 ranked Bruins will be exciting to watch this season. Their next game is Thursday Nov. 18th at the Pauley Pavilion.

Categories: Basketball | Sports
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