UCLA women rally late but fall to UConn at Never Forget Tribute Classic
Thiird-ranked UConn struggled again without star Paige Bueckers but managed to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since 1993, holding off UCLA 71-61 on Saturday in opening game of the Never Forget Tribute Classic at the Prudential Center.
Dorka Juhasz made all five of her shots for 16 points and had 16 rebounds while Evina Westbrook contributed 17 points, seven assists and seven rebounds for the Huskies (6-2).
UCLA (5-3) trailed 65-51 with 1:20 left before scoring 10 straight points, including eight in a row from Charisma Osborne, to close the deficit to four with 37 seconds to go. The Huskies pulled away after that.
Bueckers, the reigning national player of the year, fractured her knee last Sunday in a win over Notre Dame and the school said she will be out for up to two months. She is averaging 21.2 points, 6.2 assists, and 5.5 rebounds and had accounted for 52% of the Huskies’ offense in points or assists this season.
In their first game without her, the Huskies lost to unranked Georgia Tech on Thursday and were held to a season-low 44 points.
UConn hasn’t lost two straight since March 1993, before coach Geno Auriemma built the team into a perennial national power.
Osborne led UCLA with with 26 points, while Jaelynn Penn had 10 points and seven rebounds. The Bruins fell to 0-7 overall against UConn.
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