Cougars unable to stun Bruins

Bobi Buckets scores 29 points as WSU's upset bid falls just short

CARSON BROWN, Evergreen women's basketball reporter

The Washington State women’s basketball team lost to the No. 8 UCLA Bruins 70-62 Friday night in Pullman.

UCLA freshman guard Charisma Osborne had 32 points for the Bruins (23-3, 12-3). She shot 11-21 from the field and had 11 rebounds.

Senior forward Borislava Hristova poured in 29 points in her 120th career start for the Cougars (11-16, 4-11). She also had five rebounds and did not miss from the free-throw line.

UCLA junior forward Michaela Onyenwere is averaging 19.4 points per game on the season for the Bruins, but the Cougars held her to eight points on one for 11 shooting.

“We worked to make her touches difficult. We surrounded her all night,” head coach Kamie Ethridge said. “She’s an amazing player on a great team. You have to pick your poison with this team, and Osborne stepped up tonight.”

The foul disparity played a major role in the outcome of the game. The Bruins were given 30 attempts from the line while the Cougars had 13 attempts.

The Bruins won the fourth quarter 19-10, and the intensity of UCLA was the difference. By the end of the game, the Cougars had 19 turnovers. UCLA pressed the entire game and never took the foot off the gas.

“I am used to the pressure; I just need to stay locked in,” senior guard Chanelle Molina said. “It doesn’t really affect me offensively. I just have to work harder to get open.”

The Cougars led after the first quarter 19-11. The Bruins had seven turnovers in their first eight possessions leading to an 8-0 start for WSU.

In the opening quarter Hristova had 11 points on five-for-seven shooting and freshman center Bella Murekatete had four steals as well.

Hristova took a hit at the end of the first quarter and was walking with a hobble for a couple possessions, but she returned in the second quarter with 7:33 left.

At the half WSU led 34-31. Turnovers were the story for the both teams as they combined for 21 in the first half. The Cougars had nine and the Bruins had 12.

Playing defense without fouling was a major issue for the Cougars in the first half. WSU committed 11 fouls leading to UCLA shooting 11 free-throws in the first 20 minutes of play.

Osborne had 15 points at the break for the Bruins. She shot six-for-nine from the field and connected on three shots from beyond the arc. Onyenwere was held to two points from the free throw line and went zero for seven from the field.

At the end of the third quarter WSU led UCLA 52-51. The fouls continued to pile up for the Cougars as the count was up to 19 for the game.

Hristova was up to 24 points and was making a difference on defense as well with a block and a steal for the Cougars.

UCLA outscored WSU 13-1 in the final three minutes of the game to walk away from Pullman victorious.

WSU plays in its last home game of the season at 11:30 a.m. Sunday against the University of Southern California Trojans. The game will be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Networks.