The UCLA basketball women’s team has started to turn up the heat as they have won 6 of their last 7 games. Can they keep that momentum going with two tough opponents heading to Pauley Pavilion?
If this was supposed to be a down year but no one told UCLA basketball women’s coach Cori Close. After a season-opening loss and a forgettable 3-game losing streak at the Paradise Jam, Close has her Bruins playing their best ball so far.
Since that preseason tourney, UCLA (9-6) has gone 6-1, which includes a 2-1 Pac-12 start. The Bruins began conference play with a win at USC and then followed that up with a victory over #18 Cal. In their last game, UCLA had a dominating first-half performance against #6 Stanford.
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They weren’t able to keep the lead, but they kept it close in an 86-80 loss, but that says a lot about how this team is playing. Going into the arena of the #5 team in the nation and putting up a fight, fight, fight shows that these Bruins are not going to be intimidated.
So not only are the Bruins coming together at the right time, but they are doing it against some pretty solid competition.
This weekend the Bruins will have their first conference homestand, which is a relief in some aspects, but this two-game series is going to be difficult to come out of unscathed. Tonight, UCLA takes on #10 Oregon State and follows that up with a Sunday game against #5 Oregon. That is a whole lot of tough basketball to prepare for.
I would not say the Bruins have no chance of getting a sweep, but if they split this weekend, then they are still in the hunt for the Pac-12 regular season title. Currently, they are tied for 4th.
UCLA is still finding ways to come together and with Michaela Onyenwere, Kennedy Burke, and Japreece Dean leading the way they can get there, but they first have to take down the big guns of the Pac-12.
We will find out this weekend if they are able to accomplish that. Both Oregon State and Oregon are two of the top scoring teams in the nation, putting up 81.7 and 92.4 points respectively, so the Bruins have to be ready on the defensive end. The Bruins’ opponents can no doubt score, but what will be important is limiting their shooting chances and forcing them into bad shots.
It is a tough task, but one Close should have her squad read for. Go Bruins!