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Charisma Osborne lifts No. 6 UCLA women to win over No. 5 Stanford

UCLA's Charisma Osborne, left, and Stanford's Lexie Hull vie for the ball in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Jan. 22, 2021.
UCLA’s Charisma Osborne, left, and Stanford’s Lexie Hull vie for the ball Friday night in Santa Cruz. Osborne had 24 points to lead the No. 6 Bruins to a 70-66 win over the No. 5 Cardinal.
(Tony Avelar / Associated Press)

Charisma Osborne had 24 points, nine rebounds and three steals, and No. 6 UCLA handed No. 5 Stanford its second consecutive loss, 70-66 on Friday night.

Michaela Onyenwere added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bruins (9-2, 7-2 Pac-12 Conference), Natalie Chou had 12 points, and Emily Bessoir added 11.

Stanford (11-2, 8-2), then ranked No. 1, lost 77-72 in overtime at Colorado on Sunday.

“I wanted to come out in this game and really just play freely and just play how I play,“ Osborne said. “Credit to my teammates for giving me a pep talk before the game when we were getting ready and just telling me that no one can guard me and giving me a lot of confidence.”

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UCLA sophomore guard Charisma Osborne is taking an approach similar to her idol, Kobe Bryant, holding teammates to the same high standard she has for herself.

Added UCLA coach Cori Close: “I just hugged her so tight after the game and just was like, ‘Look, you did it. You lived it. You earned the confidence now of what it means to be an elite player in big games on both sides of the ball, on the road. I can’t give you that confidence — you’ve got to earn it — but you sure earned a whole lot of confidence tonight.’ ”

Kiana Williams led the Cardinal with 19 points and five assists. Francesca Belibi had 14 points, Haley Jones added 12 points and five rebounds, and Lexie Hull had 11 points and six rebounds.

UCLA blew an 11-point lead in the second half, with Stanford rallying to tie the score at 66 with 1:47 remaining. Osborne hit two free throws with 1:23 remaining to put the Bruins back in front for good.

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The Cardinal had a chance to tie or win in the final seconds, but Belibi committed the team’s 14th turnover with 13 seconds left and UCLA put the game away at the free-throw line.

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Highlights from the No. 6 UCLA women’s basketball team’s 70-66 victory over No. 5 Stanford on Friday night in Santa Cruz.

“Everyone on our team knows it’s not about ‘me,’ it’s about ‘us,’ ” Close said. “I just thought there was so much selflessness on display tonight. That was the difference in the game — our toughness, togetherness, and our selflessness to be able to play whatever role is needed.”

The Bruins won their fourth straight game and improved to 3-2 against ranked opponents. UCLA dominated the boards, outrebounding Stanford 44-31, including a 21-7 advantage on the offensive glass, translating to an 18-6 edge in second-chance points.

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Stanford lost consecutive games for just the fourth time since 2010. The Cardinal fell to 3-1 against ranked opponents for the season. Despite the loss, Stanford has still held every opponent to fewer than 78 points and 41.5% from the field. The Cardinal lead the series against UCLA 64-27.

UCLA hosts Arizona State next Friday. The Bruins were scheduled to play at California on Sunday, but that game was postponed because of COVID-19 developments in the Cal program.

Stanford hosts USC on Sunday in Santa Cruz.


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