UCLA Women’s Basketball Goes Wire-to-Wire For Win Over California

Londynn Jones had another big scoring night off the bench for the Bruins, dropping 19 to lead them to a fourth-straight win.

The end result was hardly ever in doubt between the Bruins and Golden Bears on Friday night.

No. 16 UCLA women’s basketball (21-6, 10-5 Pac-12) never trailed in its 67-54 win over California (12-14, 3-12), leading for nearly 39 of the 40 minutes up in Berkeley. The Bruins’ lead never dipped below nine points after the 8:37 mark in the second quarter, and they used several waves of efficient offense to keep the Bears at bay from start to finish.

Guard Londynn Jones led all scorers with 19 points, also adding three assists and a steal without turning the ball over once. Guard Charisma Osborne finished with a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double, while forward Emily Bessoir ended the night with 10 points, eight boards and three steals.

Jones hit a jumper with 7:30 left in the first quarter, breaking one of the two ties all night and gifting the Bruins a lead they would not relinquish. That sparked a 7-0 run for UCLA, and a jumper from Osborne with 10 seconds remaining in the opening frame put them up by six.

Early in the second, the Bruins staged an 11-0 run, bookended by a Jones triple and a Jones jumper. Osborne hit two jumpers in between Jones’ two buckets, and Bessoir added one of her own in that stretch as well.

A scoring push by forward Gabriela Jaquez, plus another 3-pointer from Jones, kept UCLA up by double digits, and a Bessoir layup 11 seconds before halftime made it 35-20 at the break.

When Cal opened the second half with a couple buckets, Osborne tried to silence them with a layup and a fast break 3-pointer. The Golden Bears weren’t going away, though, and it took another pair of Bessoir jumpers and a triple by guard Gina Conti to build the Bruins’ advantage back up to 14.

Jones hit a layup early in the fourth quarter to make it 60-44, and Cal didn’t score in the first three minutes of the final period. When the Golden Bears’ offense did eventually come back to life, they went on a quick 7-0 run that made it a nine-point game with 4:38 left on the clock.

UCLA, meanwhile, hadn’t scored in 5:24 of game action. Guard Kiki Rice sandwiched a Jones’ 3-pointer with a layup and a jumper to spearhead a 7-0 run in response, though, and Cal’s comeback hopes were ultimately short-lived.

The Golden Bears got 15 points out of guard Jayda Curry – plus another 14 each from guards Leilani McIntosh and Kemery Martin – but only five of their 10 players scored a point. The Bruins, on the other hand, got contributions from nine of their 10 rotation members and outscored their opponents’ bench 34-11.

After losing three straight by an average of 3.3 points per game as January turned to February, UCLA has rattled off four wins in a row with a 12.5-point average margin of victory.

UCLA will return to action Monday at 6 p.m. against No. 3 Stanford. That ranked showdown at Maples Pavilion will be televised on ESPN2.

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