Eugene, OR – The Oregon women start a tough part of their schedule as they were visited by the No. 11-rated UCLA Bruins this afternoon. Oregon, 8-0, coming into the game had won 27 straight games dating back to last season. UCLA came away with a hard fought 73-71 win as they ended Oregon’s winning streak. Michaela Onyenwere was extremely impressive for the Bruins with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Point guard Charisma Osborne added 22 points, hitting 5-of-8 three-pointers. Te-Hina Paopao led Oregon’s second half comeback and scored 19 points and added four assists.
The first quarter was dominated by UCLA’s top two scorers, Onyenwere and Osborne The duo scored all of UCLA’s 20 points as the Bruins took a 20-15 lead at the close of the quarter. Onyenwere scored 12 points, connecting on 4-of-5 of her field goals and made all four of her free throws. Osborne added eight points, hitting two three-pointers. The Ducks were led by Erin Boley’s seven points on 3-of-6 shooting.
Oregon’s Te-Hina Paopao and Maggie Scherr(8 points) hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Ducks a 23-22 lead early in the second quarter. Onyenwere came back to hit a key three to tie the game at 31. UCLA then outscored Oregon 7-3 the rest of the quarter as Osborne hit a jumper, made a nice assist and was fouled twice on shot attempts. The Bruins led 38-34 at the half as Onyenwere scored 15 points and Osborne 11. Boley led Oregon with 10 points. The Bruins shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the field in the half while the Ducks shot 43 percent (13-of-30).
Onyenwere picked up where she left off starting the second half with six quick points, then a Lindsey Corsaro three-pointer extended the Bruin lead to 47-36. Oregon came back and cut UCLA’s the deficit to 52-48 on a three-pointer from the corner by Paopao, her third of the game. Paopao (10 points in the quarter) followed up with two baskets on drives to tie the game at 54. Osborne ended the quarter with a three from the corner to give the Bruins a 57-54 lead.
Onyenwere made two layups in the first part of the fourth quarter. Another three from Osborne extended the Bruin lead to 65-55. The Ducks weren’t done. Nine straight points capped by two free throws from Nyara Sabally (12 points, 8 rebounds) tied the game at 71. Onyenwere then followed up her missed shot with an offensive rebound and lay-in to give UCLA a 73-71 lead. The teams traded turnovers in the last minute with the Ducks regaining the ball with seven seconds left. Paopao was tied up driving into the lane with 0.3 seconds left. Oregon was subsequently unable to get off a shot after inbounding the ball.
UCLA’s Onyenwere, a 6-0 senior, will likely be a Top-5 pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. She has a versatile game, is very active and can score at all three levels, She came into the game averaging 16.9 points and 8.1 rebounds. She was on top of her game today. Onyenwere was all over the court, shooting 12-of-20 from the field and making all eight of her free throws. Onyenwere had her mark all over this game and was the difference.
Oregon was missing junior guard Taylor Chavez who was unavailable due to a family emergency and center Sedona Prince who missed her second straight game with a leg injury. In the absence of Prince, 6-4 freshman Angela Dugalic got her most extensive time of the season. She showed strong activity inside and even connected on a jumper from the top of the key off the bounce. She finished with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and nine rebounds over 20 minutes.