USC freshman JuJu Watkins (12) and grad student guard McKenzie Forbes (25) double team UCLA senior forward Angela Dugalić (32) (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

The Women of Troy basketball team got their revenge on the UCLA Bruins by snapping their 14-game winning streak with a 73-65 victory. In their first meeting on December 30, the Bruins won 71-64, snapping the Women of Troy’s 10-0 winning streak.

Much like the showdown at Pauley Pavilion, the matchup at Galen Center was a sell-out. Several notable celebrities were in attendance, including basketball legend Cheryl Miller, recording artists Saweetie and Chris Brown, WNBA stars Candace Parker, Lexie Brown, and Layshia Clarendon, and actress Storm Reid.

“To look up and see all those rafters, upper deck full, people were here three hours ahead, it was unreal,” Women of Troy basketball head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “I think it speaks to Southern California and both teams and how good both teams are and what both teams are trying to build.

Although their starting forward Rayah Marshall was out due to illness, USC brought enough defensive aggression to disrupt the second-ranked Bruins. Sophomore center Lauren Betts, guard Londynn Jones and guard Kiki Rice were all held to under their scoring average in the bout.

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Watkins (12) scored overs 30 points for the sixth time this season against the UCLA Bruins (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“We weren’t tough enough, we didn’t rebound well enough, we didn’t have enough passion plays, we didn’t execute our scouting report,” said Bruins women’s basketball head coach Cori Close. “It’s either gonna teach us or it won’t and we’re gonna find out.”

USC freshman JuJu Watkins led all scorers with 32 points, her sixth 30+-point performance. She also led the team with 10 rebounds and three blocks.

“As a team, we’re so eager on defense,” Watkins said. “I fed off my teammates’ energy.”

Grad student guard Charisma Osborne led the Bruins with 25 points and four assists.

UCLA grad student guard Charisma Osborne (20) scored 25 points, two rebounds, and four assists (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“We were just trying to keep fighting, trying to get to the basket,” Osborne said. “That’s when we’re getting to the free-throw line … We kept giving up buckets, we couldn’t get stops.”

Close revealed that Osborne was not feeling well during halftime. Despite her ailment, she scored 15 points in the third quarter alone, going 7-7 from the free-throw line. Close noted how Osborne is the  “heart and soul” of the Bruins.

“Plays both ends of the floor, never stopped leading, never stopped believing,” Close said about Osborne. “There’s just not very many guards in the country more complete than her and not very many that are gonna have a bigger heart than her.”

Both teams struggled to score early and were tied at six late in the first quarter. Grad student forward McKenzie Forbes made three-pointers back-to-back to create a nine-point run for the Women of Troy.  Forbes finished the matchup with 18 points and four assists.

UCLA Sophomore guard Kiki Rice (1) defends Watkins (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

“We stepped out today and we’re like “we’re gonna be the aggressors, we’re going to be the one causing turnovers, we’re gonna be the ones getting and-ones and hyping up the crowd,” Forbes said. “I felt like we felt more prepared for the moment, and I think we felt more together.”

UCLA got into foul trouble and three players ultimately fouled out. The bench kept the Bruins competitive, scoring 20 points. Close noted how the team has been having each other’s backs throughout the season.

“We’ve got four words that we really want to describe our team: selflessness, togetherness, toughness, consistency,” Close said. “Proud of our bench, proud of the different people that stepped up in different ways.”

The two rivals head off on a road trip with the Women of Troy battling the Utah Runnin’ Utes on January 19 at 6:00P.M. and the Bruins competing against the Colorado Buffaloes at 5:00P.M. the same day.