Freshman Onyenwere leads No. 8 UCLA women to 69-46 victory
LOS ANGELES (AP) Michaela Onyenwere had 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 8 UCLA to a 69-46 win over Arizona on Friday night, the Bruins’ ninth straight victory.
Kennedy Burke added 10 points and nine rebounds for UCLA (20-4, 11-2), which has won 11 of its last 12 and remains tied atop the Pac-12 with No. 9 Oregon and No. 17 Stanford, both of which also won Friday night.
Onyenwere, a freshman, posted her third double-double this year with her best rebounding effort of the season. Chantel Horvat collected 10 rebounds and the Bruins finished with a 53-29 advantage, including 25 on the offensive boards as they outscored the Wildcats 38-12 in the paint.
Onyenwere, a 5-foot-11 forward, had seven offensive rebounds.
”Our team has just talked about being in the right position when and if we miss shots, so I’m trying to have my teammates’ backs and I’m happy to be in the right place at the right time,” Onyenwere said.
She had a big game on a night when starters Lajahna Drummer, Jordin Canada and Monique Billings played limited minutes because of the big early lead.
”I have great veterans that are ahead of me and try and model what they do and they’ve been great role models for me,” Onyenwere said. ”(Seniors) Jordin and Kelli (Hayes) and Monique (Billings), I just really appreciate them and just try to match their intensity in practice. Because if we can all match their intensity then we’re going to do really good things.”
Leading by 17 at halftime, the Bruins had seven points from Onyenwere and six from Burke in the third quarter to break the game open, 55-28.
The lead reached 30 on Ally Rosenblum’s jumper with four minutes left.
Arizona (6-18, 2-11) led once, at 4-3, following a pair of baskets by JaLea Bennett. UCLA then scored the next 16 points with eight points from Onyenwere and 3-pointers by Japreece Dean and Kelli Hayes, and Bruins led 19-7 at the end of the period. Dean capped a 7-0 surge to end the first half with 3-pointer, giving the Bruins a 35-18 lead.
Bennett scored 19 points and Lucia Alonso had 11 for the Wildcats, losers of five of their last six.
This was the 80th meeting between Arizona and UCLA, with the Bruins leading the series, 59-21. UCLA has won the last 11 meetings and 20 of the last 22. The Bruins have also won the last 10 in Los Angeles.
CANADA ON WATCH LIST
Canada was named to the Dawn Staley Award midseason watch list on Thursday along with 14 others. The award is given to the nation’s outstanding guard. Canada came into Friday’s game averaging 15.7 points and 6.5 assists per game and shooting 40.8 percent from 3-point range.
Arizona: Plays at USC on Sunday.
UCLA: Hosts No. 25 Arizona State on Sunday.