Los Angeles, CA — In what was predicted to be a close game, No. 14 UCLA (11-3) dominated No. 16 Oregon State (11-3) 84-49 at Pauley Pavillion on Friday night.
The Bruins were hot out of the gate, outscoring Oregon State 18-11 in the first quarter, and never looked back. In fact, the Beavers never gained the lead the entire game. Oregon State came to Los Angeles with momentum from an eight-game winning streak, and their only losses this season came from two ranked opponents.
Friday, UCLA snapped that winning streak.
Tonight’s match-up came with what was expected to be an intense battle under the rim between two of the top centers in the country in UCLA’s Monique Billings and Oregon State’s Maria Gülich. Billings led all scorers in the first half with a flashy 13 points, and Gülich followed with 10 points for Oregon State.
The Bruins’ athleticism allowed them the advantage most of the night as they pushed a fast-paced offense. Japreece Dean gave UCLA a lift defensively and added to the Bruins’ momentum heading into halftime when she drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to extend the lead to 40-21.
The big difference which worked to UCLA’s advantage was the team’s ability to crash the offensive boards. The Bruins outrebounded Oregon State 42-31, with half of those being offensive rebounds, and head coach Cori Close said that statistic makes her proud.
“It’s been a long time since we outrebounded Oregon State,” Close said. “So that’s probably the stat I’m most proud of.”
UCLA stretched the lead to 40 points in the fourth quarter with a three-point basket from Dean less than two minutes into the frame. The Bruins set a team record for most points from its bench players with 36.
Billings led all scorers with 19 points despite seeing only 27 minutes of play, and also led the Bruins in rebounding with six.
“There’s no margin for error when playing a ranked opponent,” Close said. “If you don’t get them out of their rhythm, they are just so efficient and so that was the big key.”
Five UCLA players scored in double figures including Billings with 19, Dean 11, Lajahna Drummer with 10, Jordin Canada with witwiw11, and Michaela Onyenwere with 12.
Gulich led the way for the Beavers with 16 points and five rebounds and Taya Corosdale added 10 points as the only two Oregon State players in double-digit scoring.
UCLA improved to 11-3 and moves on to face Oregon this Sunday (Jan. 7), while Oregon State fell to 11-3 and will remain in Los Angeles to take on USC on Sunday.