Women’s basketball falls to No. 20 UCLA despite early lead, 73-46

Jordyn+Jackson+dribbles+the+ball+down+the+court+during+the+game+against+UCLA+in+Los+Angeles%2C+Calif.+on+Nov.+20%2C+2021.

Will Navaro

Jordyn Jackson dribbles the ball down the court during the game against UCLA in Los Angeles, Calif. on Nov. 20, 2021.

Jordan Puente, Sports Assistant Editor

CSUN women’s basketball played against UCLA in the house that John Wooden built, Pauley Pavilion, on Thursday night. Although it looked like the Matadors were about to pull off a massive upset in the first half, they were no match for the Bruins. The CSUN lead of at least eight points slowly slipped away as UCLA walked away with the win 73-46.

“UCLA has great scoring guards, with [Charisma] Osborne, they get to the rim where they look to attack,” said CSUN’s interim head coach Carlene Mitchell.

CSUN’s first half started off looking like they were on the brink of doing something they haven’t done in decades: beat No. 20 UCLA. The Matadors were coming off a win in their home opener against Cal State Dominguez Hills.

CSUN’s redshirt junior Tess Amundsen controlled the paint and the arch, collecting nine points going 3-6 from field goal range and 2-4 from the three-point line. CSUN was able to take the lead early in the first quarter. The Matadors went on cruise control until the six-minute mark of the second quarter, when they went ice cold for nearly five minutes.
The Bruins went on a 15-1 run during the Matadors’ scoring drought, retaking the lead and never looking back. Charisma Osborne, a UCLA guard, had herself a first half by putting together 12 points, going 3-7 from the field.

CSUN was able to put together a lot of defensive stops during the scoring drought, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Bruins from finding their groove late in the second quarter.

UCLA started the third quarter in early foul trouble by committing three fouls within the first two minutes, allowing CSUN to stay in the game. The Matadors were able to stop the bleeding by putting together a few points and cut the deficit 39-32.

However, UCLA was able to keep the lead in the third quarter by scoring at will and getting key defensive stops. This drove down CSUN’s field goal percentage from 50% to 38%.

“You know, I’ll take full responsibility [for] that because you got to come out [in the] third quarter ready to play and I think UCLA stepped it up a notch on the defensive end,” Mitchell said.

Nothing from inside the paint was working for the Matadors, and the threes were missing along with the defense. UCLA held the Matadors to no points for almost three minutes.

The Bruins were able to dominate inside the paint, allowing IImar’I Thomas to establish herself inside. Thomas had a steady six points in each quarter until the fourth, where she was getting nothing but barbecue chicken inside the paint. Thomas ended the game with 21 points while going 10-14 from the field. CSUN ended the third quarter with the Bruins going on a 13-2 run, extending the lead to 52-26.

The Bruins’ student section was loud, chanting “air ball” each time the Matadors dribbled near them. It worked for the most part as CSUN missed most of their shots, allowing UCLA to capitalize each time.

CSUN went down to UCLA 72-46. CSUN’s next opponents are on the road at Fresno State University and University of Texas.