No. 10 UCLA coasts past CSU Bakersfield 75-47
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Emily Bessoir and freshman Londyn Jones each scored 12 points to lead No. 10 UCLA to a 75-47 win over CSU Bakersfield on Saturday.
The Bruins (11-1) had a season-high 14 steals, which led to plenty of transition buckets. UCLA started the game on a 10-2 run and led 22-8 after the first quarter. Eight players scored in the opening quarter for the Bruins and all 10 players that got in the game scored.
“We can’t waste any opportunities,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “We’re getting ready to go into Pac-12 play and all the way through, opening up on the road in hostile environments and we can’t waste any possessions. I really do think with a couple of exceptions they took that to heart. It was our highest passion play total of the year.”
CSU Bakersfield (2-5) kept the second quarter close, down just 15-12 in that frame. Morgan Edwards had a season-high 13 points and Grace Hunter added 13, too. Hennie van Schaik played her first game in a month after an ankle injury and came off the bench, scoring two points in 22 minutes.
But the Bruins defensive pressure was a lot to handle and the Roadrunners had 22 turnovers. UCLA led by as many as 32 points.
“A couple times they really got under our skin with their ball pressure,” Roadrunners coach Greg McCall said. “For the most part, I think we figured them out, we just turned the ball over too much. Their height, of course, bothered us a little bit. But I saw some good things from our players. We were able to slow them down offensively and staggered them with our zone defense.”
UCLA was the highest-ranked opponent that CSU Bakersfield played since 2019-20.
In the first half, UCLA guard Camryn Brown stole an inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast for the layup, giving UCLA a 37-18 lead with 1:27 left in the second quarter. UCLA freshman Kiki Rice stole the ball from a guard and went the other way for an uncontested layup.
Rice and Charisma Osborne each had three steals.
“I think we do a great job of competing every single day,” Jones said. “It only helps for the goals we’re trying to accomplish this year. Just having that mindset and knowing what we need to do.”
UCLA had 21 assists on 29 field goals.
“That speaks a lot to us sharing the ball and wanting to create offense together,” Bessoir said. “I know we’ve been focusing a lot on hitting the paint and hitting the post people. Moving the ball and playing together.”
UCLA held a moment of silence for Billie Moore, the former UCLA women’s basketball coach, who died at the age of 79 on Wednesday.
Both UCLA and CSU Bakersfield played USC. UCLA held off a late rally by the Trojans and won 59-56 on Thursday. The Roadrunners lost to the Trojans 86-41 in November.
CSU Bakersfield: The Roadrunners have played a tough schedule (including two Pac-12 games). That should help when Big West Conference play starts later this month.
UCLA: The Bruins showed off their depth as all 10 players who saw action during the first half scored.
UCLA: Hosts Fresno State on Tuesday.
CSU Bakersfield: Hosts Pacific on Thursday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25