PULLMAN, Wash. -- UCLA coach Cori Close had one thing to say about her team's come-from-behind win over Washington State: Thank goodness for Charisma Osborne.
“Thank goodness for her. We were in a heap of trouble if it weren’t for Charisma,” Close said. “The bottom line is though, I’m bringing the joy because we found a way.”
Osborne had a career-high 32 points and 11 rebounds and No. 8 UCLA rallied in the fourth quarter and beat Washington State 70-62 Friday night.
Trailing 61-57 with 3:30 remaining, Osborne was fouled on a 3-point attempt. She made all three free throws, pulling the Bruins within a point.
Kiana Jefferson made two baskets and Osborne hit a jumper with 1:14 left to close out the Cougars.
The Bruins (23-3, 12-3 Pac-12) won despite shooting just 34% from the field and committing 17 turnovers. UCLA improved to 23-8 all-time in Pullman and has won consecutive games following an 80-66 home loss to No. 3 Oregon on Feb. 14.
Osborne, who averages 14 points, posted a career high in scoring for the second straight game. She put up 22 points in the Bruins' 83-74 overtime win over No. 15 Oregon State on Monday.
Osborne shot 11 of 21 against Washington State and recorded her third double-double of the season. She was the only Bruins player to score in double figures.
Borislava Hristova scored 29 points for Washington State (11-16, 4-11 Pac-12), which lost its fourth straight. Hristova went down with what appeared to be a leg injury with a little over a minute to play. She returned after being checked out in the locker room. Chanelle Molina added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Cougars.
"Well, I feel a lot of emotion right now. Just really proud of our team and how hard they played. Their start of the game was unbelievable energy wise and we really had tremendous effort by Bobby and Molina, two kids who you would expect it from as seniors," said WSU Coach Kamie Ethridge. “This was just a really good UCLA team that has so many weapons that it is hard to hold them down for an entire game.”
UCLA shot 25% in the first quarter as Washington State jumped out to a 19-11 lead behind Hristova's 11 points. Washington State center Bella Murekatete had four steals and the Cougars forced nine turnovers on a UCLA team that averages 11.4 per game.
UCLA cut the Washington State lead to 34-31 in the second quarter as Osborne took control, scoring 12 of her team's 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
UCLA took its first lead when Michaela Onyenwere scored a layup off a fast break, making the score 39-38 with 6:49 left in the third.
UCLA: With South Carolina, Baylor and Oregon having established themselves as the three best teams in the country, UCLA is in a crowded field competing for the final No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have only one marquee non-conference win (at Indiana) and their three remaining games are against teams in the bottom half of the Pac-12 standings. They will need a convincing finish to the regular season to make their case for the final top seed in March.
Washington State: The Cougars have lost 34 straight games against Top-25 ranked teams. They are currently 7-7 when playing in Pullman and will have one more opportunity, on Sunday against USC, to secure their first winning season at home since 2016-2017.
UCLA: At Washington on Sunday.
Washington State: Host USC on Sunday.
More AP women's basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25
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