Oregon State blew open a close game with an enormous third quarter as the Beavers opened the 2020-21 women’s basketball season Saturday afternoon with a 88-54 win over Montana Western in Gill Coliseum.
Sophomore post Taylor Jones scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Beavers.
Oregon State shot 52 percent (32 of 62) from the floor.
Montana Western, an NAIA school that competes in the Frontier Conference. The Bulldogs and Oregon State agreed to play a game earlier this week when the Beavers’ two previously scheduled non-conference games were cancelled. OSU plays Carroll College of Montana at Gill on Monday.
Montana Western made a game of it for a half, outscoring the Beavers 18-13 during the second quarter to cut the halftime deficit to 32-28. But Oregon State left no doubt during the third quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 30-9. Jones scored 13 points and OSU hit 12 of 16 shots during the quarter as OSU opened up a 62-37 lead.
Oregon State finished the game on a 20-2 run. The Beavers outscored Montana Western 56-26 during the second half.
Aside from Jones, four other OSU players scored in double figures. Jasmine Simmons scored 13 points, Aleah Goodman 12, Sasha Goforth 11 and Jelena Mitrovic 10 for the Beavers.
Jenni Weber topped Montana Western (0-1) with 12 points. The Bulldogs shot 28 percent from the floor (17 of 61).
LOS ANGELES — UCLA waited eight months to play basketball again. Then the ninth-ranked Bruin women had to wait another two days.
Charisma Osborne scored 31 points and UCLA took control in a dominant first quarter, going on to beat Cal State Fullerton 98-49 on Friday in the teams’ delayed season opener.
The teams were supposed to meet Wednesday, but the game was called off after an 80-minute delay because the Titans’ COVID-19 test results hadn’t come back. UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond approved paying $80 per person to test the Titans on Wednesday and again Friday, in addition to the Bruins, so the game could go on.
“It’s going to be a challenge to get our games in,” Bruins coach Cori Close said. “It was really important that we were able to.”
Michaela Onyenwere, a preseason AP All-America selection, added 22 points and Natalie Chou had 16 for the Bruins. They had been on campus since early morning Wednesday anticipating their first game. The team came out to warm up and then sat around waiting as the delay stretched longer and longer before the game was called.
“We were definitely disappointed, but we definitely turned it around like we needed to,” Onyenwere said. “We handled it so well. We attacked the practice after learning we didn’t have a game. This year is all about adapting.”
Amiee Book scored 20 points to lead the Titans, who were held to 34% field-goal shooting. They had 25 turnovers that led to 44 points by the Bruins.
Fullerton opened the game with a 9-4 run. Then the Bruins took over for good.
UCLA reeled off 19 unanswered points to take a 23-9 lead. The Titans were 0 for 8 from the floor and committed five turnovers while going 6:18 without scoring.
The Titans were limited to 13 points in the second quarter and trailed 46-24 at halftime.
Onyenwere and Osborne combined to score 17 of UCLA’s 29 points in the third, when the Bruins led 75-35. UCLA had a 12-0 run early in the quarter. Osborne’s total points were one off her career high.
The Titans return seven of their top nine scorers from last season’s team that went 17-14 and posted its first winning record since 1991. However, they’re looking for others to step up after Big West player of the year Raina Perez transferred to North Carolina State and senior Taylor Turney opted to sit out the season because of the coronavirus. The Bruins have just one more game before they jump into Pac-12 play with a pair of road games at the Arizona schools next week. In all, UCLA plays only three non-conference games this season.
Artificial crowd noise was pumped into Pauley Pavilion via the overhead videoboard. The Bruins cheerleaders appeared in squares on the videoboard, calling out player names and chanting. There was a recorded version of band playing the UCLA fight song. Five rows of cardboard cutouts sat in the student section, with
Molly Miller won her first Division I game as coach of GCU women’s basketball team. Photo by David Kadlubowski/GCU (Photo: David Kadlubowski/GCU)
Coach Molly Miller brought a fast and furious basketball pace with her from Drury and turned Grand Canyon’s women players loose in their season opener Friday.
It resulted in a school scoring record as an NCAA Division I program.
GCU’s 93-72 win over Weber State at GCU Arena broke the previous record of 92 points that the Antelopes scored in the first game as a Division I team in 2013 against Western State.
The 29-point first quarter tied a GCU most in Division I.
Miller, named the GCU head coach in April, was twice an NCAA Division II Coach of the Year at her alma mater Drury in Missouri, and was 32-0 last year, before COVID-19 halted the season.
That Drury team won games by an average margin of 28.5 points.
“The bottom line was how hard our kids played tonight,” Miller said. “That’s why we won this game, with defensive effort and intensity. Fifty-fifty balls were ours. We were going on traps. We were really aggressive.”
After building a 19-point lead in the first quarter, the Antelopes got outscored in the second quarter 26-19, but got back rolling to open the second half with a 27-18 third quarter.
Taylor Caldwell had 21 points, making both of her 3-point attempts, and added seven rebounds and five assists to lead GCU.
Kennedi Shorts had 17 points, Ny’Dajah Jackson 16 and Laura Piera 13 for the Antelopes, who shot 50% for the game. They made 12 of 19 shots in the opening quarter.
They forced Weber State into 27 turnovers and 40.7% shooting.
“This team is special,” Miller said. “I told them in the locker room they’re bonded. They rally around each other when good and bad happens. We’re going to have a lot of people doing a lot of things for each other.”
After the No. 9 Bruins’ season opener was postponed by two days, they picked up a dominant 98-49 victory over Cal State Fullerton in the rescheduled game Friday at Pauley Pavilion.
Sophomore Charisma Osborne led the Bruins with 31 points and a career-high six assists. Preseason All-American Michaela Onyenwere added 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists for UCLA, which forced 25 turnovers and scored 44 points off the miscues, never letting the Titans get closer than 10 points after the 2:30 mark in the first quarter.
“This is as much about the purity of the love of the game and the collegiate sports experience and what it does for young people as it does a win or a start to a normal season,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “This is about a lot of deeper things.”
On Wednesday, the Bruins arrived on campus at 8 a.m. buzzing with excitement. They had waited more than eight months for the game. They came to Pauley Pavilion and warmed up. Then they were told there was a 15-minute delay as Fullerton awaited COVID-19 test results. Then 15 minutes turned into an hour. Then an hour turned into an indefinite postponement.
Delivering the final news to her team in the locker room was like “the wind was just taken out of their sails,” Close said.
Instead of stewing in the disappointment, the Bruins, wearing their full game uniforms, went to Mo Ostin Center for practice. During the one-hour, 15-minute session, they were “elite,” Close said.
“This year is all about adapting,” Onyenwere said. “This team has continued to step up to the plate when those opportunities present themselves.”
The Titans got retested Wednesday night, Close said, when UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond signed off on paying for additional PCR tests, each costing about $80. The results came in Thursday, and the team had rapid-response tests Friday.
“We needed to make sure there was no chance [of a positive case],” Close said. “You see the number of games that have already been canceled across the country, so it was really important that we had an opportunity to play this game.”
Just as the Bruins passed a major hurdle in this pandemic-affected season, another one appeared. With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, the Los Angeles County Public Health released a new stay-at-home order Friday, prohibiting all public and private gatherings with individuals not in the same household, excluding church services and protests.
How the order might affect sports remains to be seen. For the Bruins, it’s a reminder that they must continue to insulate themselves as much as possible to keep their season going.
“We have a saying in our program: ‘You can never get tired of doing it right,’ ” Close said. “We can’t let it wear us down.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.