By Jill Painter Lopez
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Charisma Osborne scored 28 points and No. 8 UCLA withstood a smart play by No. 25 Washington State that forced overtime for a 68-66 victory Sunday.
Osborne had 11 points in overtime as UCLA (8-2, 6-2 Pac-12) won its third in a row. The Bruins improved to 33-0 overall at home against Washington State.
Before overtime started, Osborne got encouragement from teammate Lauryn Miller to keep shooting.
“I definitely think I’m confident in taking those shots but if my shot isn’t falling before that I get a little hesitant. So just having that little reminder that I practice those shots all the time and I have confidence to make those,” Osborne said. “I think that just helped me.”
Osborne made 10 of 25 shots, including four 3-pointers.
The Cougars trailed 53-50 with 2 seconds left in regulation when star Charlisse Leger-Walker was fouled. She made the first free throw, missed the second on purpose and her sister, Krystal Leger-Walker, got the rebound and hit a layup to send the game into OT.
UCLA coach Cori Close liked the odds of not giving up a 3-pointer to tie the game and boxing out for the offensive rebound on a missed free throw. It didn’t work out, but Osborne took over in overtime.
“Obviously, she saved the day for us in overtime,” Close said.
Charlisse Leger-Walker led the Cougars (7-2, 5-2) with 18 points.
Washington State took its first lead on Charlisse Leger-Walker’s layup with 1:21 left in regulation. She was fouled on the play and missed the free throw.
Osborne made a 3-pointer from the top of the arc on the next possession to put UCLA up 52-50 with 1:03 left. With 2.3 seconds left, Michaela Onyenwere made one of two free throws.
Camryn Brown, who comes off the bench for the Bruins, made a nice play as she stole the ball and went coast-to-coast, dribbling past three defenders and scoring on a layup to give UCLA a 22-13 lead in the second quarter. The Bruins went on a 8-1 run to go into halftime with a 32-21 lead.
Center Bella Murekatete was dominant in the first quarter for the Cougars with three consecutive baskets to pull Washington State within 11-6. She picked up her second foul early in the second quarter and went to the bench after that, negating the Cougars’ advantage inside. She finished with 14 points.
The Cougars have played three consecutive overtime games, losing two of them, both in Los Angeles.
“It’s never fun to come this close and lose,” Washington State coach Kamie Ethridge said. “We’ve had a lot of these … I continue to be amazed at this team’s resiliency and fight and competitiveness, and to be able to defend at such a high level.”
Saturday night’s games
Gonzaga 73, Saint Mary’s 59
MORAGA, Calif. — McKeon Pavilion is typically one of Gonzaga’s toughest conference road stops, so it certainly felt strange devoid of all those raucous fans.
Corey Kispert had 17 points and five rebounds and No. 1 Gonzaga overcame a slow start with a surge to end the first half, pulling away late to beat rival Saint Mary’s 73-59 on Saturday night for its 18th straight victory spanning the past two seasons.
A 4.5-magnitude earthquake in the South Bay shook the gym early in the second half. Play continued with no disruption with the cardboard cutouts still smiling in the fold-back chairs behind the benches.
“It’s definitely hard. This place is usually rocking,” Gonzaga forward Drew Timme said. “I think we have to do a better job of creating our own energy.”
Joel Ayayi scored 16 points for the Bulldogs (14-0, 5-0 West Coast Conference). They used a 21-5 run over the final 11:17 of the first half to build a 32-25 advantage — and the Gaels made just one of their last 16 shots to close the half.
Saint Mary’s pulled to 56-48 on Dan Fotu’s layup with 9:01 to play before another decisive Gonzaga burst, this time 8-0. The Zags shot 53.8%.
Fotu scored 15 points and Logan Johnson added 12 for the cold-shooting Gaels (9-5, 0-3). They shot 34.9%.
Gonzaga’s smothering defense pushed the Gaels right up against the 30-second clock early, but Saint Mary’s made 4 of its first 5 3-point tries.
“Not a pretty game for us, and Saint Mary’s deserves a lot of credit for that,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “I thought they did a good job of taking the fight to us, especially that first few minutes, then we kind of settled in.”
The Zags are tied with Winthrop for the longest winning streak in the country. They ran the nation’s best unbeaten streak at home to 46 against Pepperdine on Thursday night.
Saint Mary’s scoring leader Tommy Kuhse had 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting with seven assists. The short-handed Gaels brought energy on both ends early but couldn’t sustain it for 40 minutes.
“You have to generate some points against those guys because they’re going to score,” Saint Mary’s coach Randy Bennett said. “We’ve been pretty good defensively this year. We only played seven guys, you can run out of juices a little bit. That was our best chance to win so we went with it. … You have to score more. I don’t think you can hope to keep them under 60.”
Johnson drew a big charge against Ayayi at the 13:31 mark of the first half as Saint Mary’s built a 12-7 lead and the Zags started 2 of 7 from the floor. Kuhse took a charge late in the first half on an offensive foul by Jalen Suggs, who scored 14 points.
USC 85, Washington State 77
LOS ANGELES — Tahj Eaddy scored 14 of his season-high 21 points in the first half and Southern California defeated Washington State 85-77 on Saturday night for the Trojans’ sixth straight victory.
USC (11-2) improved to 5-1 in Pac-12 play for the first time since 2002. Evan Mobley had 16 points despite four fouls. Drew Peterson added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Eaddy played the second half with three fouls as did Isaiah Mobley.
Isaac Bonton scored 27 points — one off his season high — to lead the Cougars (9-4, 2-4), who dropped their ninth in a row to USC.
Washington State closed to 73-69 with an 11-0 run, highlighted by consecutive 3-pointers from Andrej Jakimovski and Noah Williams, who followed with a three-point play.
Williams again drew the Cougars within four on a 3-pointer, but they could never take the lead.
Eaddy and Evan Mobley scored back-to-back. The Trojans kept a long possession alive with a couple of offensive rebounds before Isaiah White scored under the basket to keep them ahead by 10 points.
Isaiah Mobley completed a three-point play and Eaddy hit a basket for a 5-0 run to open the second half and extend USC’s lead to 15 points — its largest of the game.
There was no rhythm to the final 20 minutes, with a steady stream of fouls disrupting the flow of play. Tony Miller was called for a flagrant foul after a video review, and White made both to keep USC ahead 73-58. White, alone on the free throw line, pretended to slap hands with his teammates.
UCLA 81, Washington 76
LOS ANGELES — Jules Bernard had 20 points and nine rebounds, and first-place UCLA survived a scare from last-place Washington to win 81-76 on Saturday for its sixth straight victory.
The Bruins (11-2, 7-0 Pac-12) extended their home winning streak to 15 games. Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 15 points, and Cody Riley had 14 points and eight rebounds.
It’s the Bruins’ first 7-0 start in league play since 1993-94.
“Feel very fortunate we were able to come out with the victory,” Riley said. “It easily could have went the other way.”
Washington (1-11, 0-7) was led by Quade Green with 25 points, one off his career high. Hameir Wright added a career-high 15 points and seven rebounds. The Huskies’ lone win this season was against Seattle on Dec. 9.
Chasing their first win at Pauley Pavilion since 2016, the Huskies led by 12 points in the first half.
“We thought we were just going to show up and they were going to quit,” Bruins coach Mick Cronin said. “They were a tough matchup for us and we knew it. Matchups mean so much, more than the other team’s record.”
The Bruins began turning things around coming out of halftime. They scored the first 10 points to tie the game at 39-all and they got six straight stops on the defensive end. They ran off another 10 in a row to take a 53-45 lead.
Jaquez Jr.’s dunk off Tyger Campbell’s lob pass extended the Bruins’ lead to 61-54. But the Huskies weren’t done yet.
They got seven straight points from Marcus Tsohonis and a 3-pointer by Wright to go up 67-65.
The Huskies took their last lead, 70-69, on a free throw by Jamal Bey.
UCLA closed the game on a 12-6 run.
Erik Stevenson missed a potential tying 3-pointer with UCLA freshman Jaylen Clark in his face with 11 seconds to go. Clark got fouled by Wright and made both.
The Huskies raced to an 18-9 lead to start the game while the Bruins missed nine of their first 11 shots. UCLA recovered and ran off 10 points in a row — helped by two 3-pointers from David Singleton off the bench — to take its lone lead of the half, 22-20.
Washington responded by outscoring the Bruins 13-2, including eight in a row. The Huskies led by 12 before going into the break ahead 39-29.
“The first half we were trying to feel out the game. We were playing poor defense,” Bernard said. “We sort of picked it up in the second half, got some steals and got out in transition.”