UCLA women get back on track in rout of Arizona State
“We need to get our family back whole,” coach Cori Close said Sunday.
Betts scored 18 points on nine-of-10 shooting from the field in her second game back and the ninth-ranked Bruins used a big third quarter to pull away from Arizona State, winning 78-45 for a weekend sweep.
As the tallest player on the court, the 6-foot-7 Betts was too much down low for the Sun Devils. She missed four games because of an undisclosed medical reason and the team went 2-2 in her absence.
Leading by nine at halftime, the Bruins outscored the Sun Devils 23-12 in the third quarter for a 51-31 lead. Betts had 10 points with her teammates feeding her in the post for layups. Twice, UCLA scored eight points in a row.
“Reality for us is we needed to get back together and find a way to be champions of the weekend,” Close said. “It was really important to put two games together that we had better rebounding and passion. That was our number one focus, to get back some fight. We made some good steps.”
Betts also had seven rebounds before picking up her third foul and sitting down for good with 7:12 remaining. She didn’t attempt a three-pointer and never went to the free-throw line.
“Your stats were great but your energy is better,” Close told Betts afterward. “It’s really great to have you back.”
UCLA beat Arizona 66-58 on Friday. Betts didn’t start and finished with six points, five rebounds and four blocked shots.
“I felt a lot better today than I did Friday,” she said. “A week of practice is really helpful, just being with the team and just getting that chemistry back with all of my teammates.”
The Bruins didn’t have Angela Dugalic (Serbia) and Lina Sontag (Germany), who were competing in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Brazil this weekend.
Jalyn Brown scored 25 points to lead the Sun Devils (10-14, 2-10), who are last in the Pac-12. They’ve lost 10 of 12 games. Starters Trayanna Crisp had two points on free throws and Journey Thompson was scoreless with nine rebounds.
UCLA won its 15th straight against ASU after holding the Sun Devils to three field goals in the fourth quarter. They made eight of 13 free throws in the quarter.
“We realized we needed to use this opportunity to work on our habits and get ready for the postseason,” Rice said. “We responded well to that challenge.”
The Bruins pulled away to a 28-19 halftime lead after a 9-0 run late in the second quarter. Both teams had six turnovers each in the period. Camryn Brown came off the UCLA bench to provide a big spark, hustling for rebounds and altering shots.
UCLA’s Christeen Iwuala, who finished with 10 points, went down hard and held her left elbow when she left in the game’s final second.
UCLA returns to play on Friday, when the Bruins host Oregon State. The Sun Devils host Washington on Friday.
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