No. 10 UCLA overcomes slow start to defeat No. 18 Arizona in battle of unbeatens

A dominant third quarter helped the Bruins prevail in a battle of unbeaten teams Sunday at Pauley Pavilion as No. 10 UCLA ended No. 18 Arizona’s 19-game winning streak with a decisive 70-58 victory. The Bruins (14-0, 3-0 Pac-12) extended their home winning streak to 12 games.

UCLA scored 31 points in a tied first half and followed it with 28 points in the third quarter. The Bruins are the first team to score more than 60 points against Arizona (13-1, 2-1 Pac-12) this year. The Wildcats, averaging 45.4 points allowed per game while getting off to the best start in school history, led the nation in scoring defense entering Sunday.

Junior Michaela Onyenwere led the Bruins with 18 points and 13 rebounds while Chantel Horvat played a season-high 24 minutes and tallied her first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Charisma Osborne, a freshman from Windward, was trusted with guarding Pac-12 leading scorer Aari McDonald. While Osborne scored just 10 points, her defensive effort stood out as McDonald scored 19 points on labored seven-of-20 shooting. McDonald, a junior, averages 20.2 points per game on 49.5% shooting.

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Osborne started the second half by hustling across the baseline to stop a ball going out of bounds. The 5-foot-9 guard sprinted from the other side of the floor and threw the ball off an Arizona player. The ball went out of bounds, giving Lindsay Corsaro a chance to hit a three-pointer on the ensuing possession.

The three-pointer was one of four consecutive long-range shots for the Bruins as they went on a 16-5 run to start the third quarter. After just 26.9% shooting from beyond the arc in nonconference play, UCLA has made 46% of three-pointers during three conference games, including nine-of-20 on Sunday.

UCLA needed the sudden surge in the third quarter to overcome a slew of mistakes in the first half. The Bruins committed 10 turnovers in the first half against Arizona’s suffocating defense. The Wildcats, who rank second in the Pac-12 in forced turnovers with 20.1 per game, scored 11 points off UCLA’s miscues, but some mistakes were unforced. The Bruins had travels on three consecutive possessions in the first quarter. They turned it over inbounding the ball right under the Arizona basket, which led to an easy Wildcat layup.

Along with their turnovers, the Bruins hurt themselves with nine missed free throws in the first half. The team, which is shooting 76.5% from the free-throw line this season, went four-for-13 from the line in the first half.

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