LOS ANGELES -- The UCLA Bruins withstood another tough Pac-12 contest as they pulled out a 66-63 win over the Oregon State Beavers Monday afternoon at Pauley Pavilion. With the win, the Bruins moved above the .500 mark for the first time this season at 10-9 (4-3 in Pac-12 play), while the Beavers dropped to 10-8 (2-4).
Sophomore Nirra Fields led the way for the Bruins with 18 points, while senior Atonye Nyingifa posted her sixth consecutive double-double (10th of the season) with 17 points and 11 rebounds and added five steals. Sophomore Ruth Hamblin led the Beavers with 19 points going 8-for-9 from the field. Freshman Sydney Wiese added 17 for Oregon State, which lost to UCLA for the ninth-straight time.
Both teams started hot from the field as the score was knotted at 14 with 11:58 left in the first. Oregon State made six of its first 12 shots, while UCLA converted seven of its first 12. Cold spells soon plagued both sides, as the Beavers missed nine straight and the Bruins failed to capitalize with poor shooting of their own, including a two-for-10 stretch.
Oregon State recovered by going to Hamblin down low, as the center scored eight points in the last 6:17 of the half. The UCLA bench answered the call, including a career-high-tying six points from junior Madeline Brooks on two three-pointers. UCLA took a 30-28 lead to the break.
The visiting Beavers started the second half on an 8-3 run behind Wiese and forced the Bruins to overcome a second-half deficit for its second consecutive game. Fields and the Bruins responded, as the guard took a Nyingifa steal coast-to-coast and used a three-point play to retake the lead. A 9-1 Bruin run put them up by a game-high six at 55-49 (6:03). The Beavers countered with a 6-0 run of its own, but the Bruin big three of Fields, Nyingifa and Thea Lemberger scored 10 of UCLA's last 11 points to clinch the victory. Lemberger finished with 13 points, a career-high seven rebounds and added five assists and two steals. Junior Luiana Livulo made a late free throw and grabbed rebounds off of Oregon State's final two possessions, including a desperation three-point attempt by Wiese.
In the win, UCLA made just two from beyond the arc after it posted a season-high nine in its win over Oregon Friday. The Bruins turned the ball over a season-low seven times (including just one in the second half) and forced 16 by the Beavers. UCLA scored 18 points off of the turnovers to Oregon State's six.
The Bruins will look to ride their current momentum when they travel north to take on the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal Friday. The game will tip-off at 8:00 p.m. and air on the Pac-12 Networks.
Oregon State at UCLA