Gabriela Jaquez and Kiki Rice lead No. 4 UCLA to victory over UC Riverside


Gabriela Jaquez and Kiki Rice scored 18 points, Lauren Betts added 14 points with 15 rebounds, and No. 4 UCLA turned a fast start into an easy 90-52 victory over UC Riverside on Thursday night.

Londynn Jones scored 15 points and Charisma Osborne had 13 points with 11 rebounds for the Bruins (2-0), who had nine players see the floor for at least 10 minutes.

The Bruins opened the game on a 20-0 run, shot 52.4% from the field, led the rebounding battle 52-22 and never saw the lead fall under 18 points after the early burst. UCLA has averaged 91.0 points per game in its two victories.

“I continue to be pleased with the way we share the basketball,” said UCLA coach Cori Close, whose team had 23 assists to 33 made field goals after recording 29 assists in a victory over Purdue on Monday. “I think we have been above 20 (assists) in every single closed scrimmage and our two games.”

Jordan Webster scored 18 points for UC Riverside (0-2), which fell to 0-9 all time against UCLA and 0-6 on the road in the series. Matehya Bryant scored 11 points with eight rebounds for the Highlanders, who missed their first 14 shots from the field.

UC Riverside was playing without head coach Nicole Powell, who is on leave.

UCLA led by double digits four minutes into the game and went up 20-0 with 1:19 remaining in the first quarter before UC Riverside’s Jaden Sanderson made a jumper to end the Highlanders’ early drought.

“Out of the gate, the team came out focused, especially on the defensive end,” Close said.

UCLA guard Charisma Osborne, right, grabs a rebound away from UC Riverside forward Matehya Bryant.

UCLA guard Charisma Osborne, right, grabs a rebound away from UC Riverside forward Matehya Bryant during the first half Thursday.

(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

UC Riverside was much improved in the second quarter, shooting 43.8% from the field while scoring 18 points but trailed 49-20 at halftime.

The perimeter-oriented Highlanders shot 41.9% from the field in the second half.

“We just have to do a better job of talking and locating where the shooters are and not being content with what the score was,” Jaquez said of UCLA’s defense. “We have to keep going at them and keep getting stops.”

UCLA was without forwards Emily Bessoir (Germany) and Angela Dugalic (Serbia), who are with their respective national teams through Sunday for FIBA Women’s Eurobasket 2025 qualifiers.

“I really needed to limit the minutes of some of our banged up players so it wasn’t going to be one person stepping in, it was going to be a combination of a lot of different people,” Close said. “We have a saying about next woman up, but … it’s our collective responsibility to play the way we need to to have Angela’s and Emily’s back while they’re gone.”

Big picture

UC Riverside: The undersized Highlanders struggled from the field early before settling into the game. After shooting 24.3% from 3-point range last season, finishing last in the Big West Conference, UCR still has work to do after going 6 of 26 (23.1%) from distance against the Bruins.

UCLA: The Bruins have looked every bit of a top-five team in the country over the first two games, with home games left against Bellarmine and Princeton before a Nov. 24 showdown against UConn at the Cayman Islands Classic.

Up next

UC Riverside: At Boise State on Wednesday.

UCLA: hosts Bellarmine on Sunday.


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