Osborne scores career-high 36 to lead UCLA over Oklahoma
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Charisma Osborne scored a career-high 36 points in her final game at Pauley Pavilion and fourth-seeded UCLA rallied in the fourth quarter after blowing an 18-point lead to defeat No. 5 seed Oklahoma 82-73 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Monday night.
The Bruins, who had an 18-point lead in the second quarter, found themselves trailing 54-50 late in the third quarter before Osborne started the comeback. She drove the lane and hit a layup while being fouled by Beatrice Culliton. Osborne made the ensuing free throw to bring them within one.
She had 13 points in the final 10 minutes as the Bruins (26-7) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2019. UCLA regained control by going on a 6-1 run at the beginning of the fourth.
Osborne was 11 of 21 from the field and made all 12 of her free throws. She also had eight rebounds and four assists.
Kiki Rice added 14 points for the Bruins, who will face top-ranked South Carolina on Saturday in a Greenville 1 Regional semifinal. UCLA hung tough with the Gamecocks earlier in the season before losing 73-64.
Madi Williams scored 24 points and Ana Llanusa 15 for the Sooners, who end their season 26-7.
The Sooners trailed by 13 at the half and 47-32 with six minutes remaining in the third quarter before they went on a 22-3 run over a six-minute span to go up 54-50 with 35 seconds remaining.
Llanusa had eight points during Oklahoma’s rally, including a jumper with 1:40 remaining that put the Sooners up 50-49 and their first lead since early in the first quarter. The run included 14 straight points as the Bruins were held scoreless for nearly four minutes.
Oklahoma jumped out to an early 5-2 lead before UCLA scored eight straight points. It remained a five-point game for much of the first quarter before the Bruins opened things up with 13 straight points late in the first and early in the second. Osborne keyed that run with seven points.
UCLA held the Sooners without a bucket for 4:57 until Williams made a layup on a fast break to get Oklahoma within 32-16.
The Bruins will face top-ranked and unbeaten South Carolina on Saturday in a Greenville 1 Regional semifinal.
Taylor Robertson’s 78-game streak of making a 3-pointer ended in her final collegiate game. The senior was held two points and was 0 for 3 from beyond the arc in 19 minutes.
The last time Robertson was blanked from the perimeter was Feb. 9, 2021, against Iowa State. She will leave Oklahoma as the NCAA women’s leader in 3-pointers with 537.
Oklahoma: With the Sooners loss, this is the first time the Big 12 has not had a team advance to the Sweet 16. The conference had six teams make the field with Texas, Baylor and the Sooners all losing on Monday.
UCLA: This is the fifth time in Cori Close’s 12 seasons she has led the Bruins to the Sweet 16.
UCLA is one of only four opponents to not lose to South Carolina by double digits this season. It was tied at the beginning of the fourth quarter on Nov. 29 before the Gamecocks won.