UCLA, USC to face off in Pac-12 women’s tournament with NCAA hopes at stake

Cori Shut doesn’t want to search at any “bracketology” projections to know wherever UCLA, with a 13-11 general file and 8-8 conference mark, stands in the NCAA tournament dialogue. Entering this weekend’s Pac-12 match, the Bruins’ task is very simple.

“We gotta acquire our just one-video game year,” the UCLA mentor explained. “That’s it. And then do it yet again.”

The No. 7 seed Bruins will need a deep operate in the Pac-12 tournament to secure their sixth NCAA event visual appeal. The road commences towards No. 10-seed USC as the rivals facial area off in the very first round of the Pac-12 tournament at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. The winner faces No. 2 seed Oregon on Thursday in the 2nd round.

Sophomore forward Jordyn Jenkins leads the Trojans (12-15, 5-12 Pac-12) into the postseason immediately after earning the conference’s to start with most improved participant award Tuesday. The accolade she shared with Washington State’s Bella Murekatete marked Jenkins’ changeover from purpose-taking part in freshman to standout inside scoring presence. The Kent, Clean., native additional than doubled her scoring common from 6.2 details for every video game as a freshman to a crew-superior 15.2 this year when capturing 53% from the subject, which ranked third in the convention.

Early on, Jenkins’ bodily abilities ended up evident. The 6-foot-2 ahead features polished footwork and wiggles as a result of defenders with ease to rating in the paint. She is “very guard-like” in her motion, point guard Desiree Caldwell marveled.

But Jenkins missed the initially eight games previous year since of an harm and had her initially faculty period marred by the pandemic that kept followers out of arenas. Now healthy, Jenkins is soaring into the meeting highlight.

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“We’ve seen her expand in self esteem that if she misses her initially shot or two, I imagine she really believes ‘OK, I’m going to preserve attacking and my next 10 are heading to go in,’” USC coach Lindsay Gottlieb reported, “which is how I feel.”

Jenkins, who was named to the 15-player All-Pac-12 crew, led 6 all-meeting honorees from UCLA and USC, which included UCLA’s two-time All-Pac-12 choice Charisma Osborne. Osborne (17.1 points for each activity) and fellow All-Pac-12 honoree IImar’I Thomas (15.4) are second and fifth, respectively, in the Pac-12 in scoring, making UCLA the only convention team with two of the leading five scorers.

UCLA guard Charisma Osborne drives the ball from USC ahead Alissa Pili throughout the 2nd 50 percent on Jan. 23 at the Galen Center.

(Ashley Landis / Connected Push)

Osborne won the league’s last typical-period participant of the week award following serving to the Bruins to a normal-season finale sweep of then-No. 12 Arizona and Arizona State. The Windward University alumna averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds through the two victories that aided UCLA get back momentum immediately after dropping 8 of its preceding 10 video games.

“The truth is we go as Charisma goes,” Near stated.

The highway win from short-handed Arizona assisted put the Bruins at No. 41 in the NCAA Net rankings getting into the postseason. It is bigger than Washington State, which is 58th in the Web rankings, but is NCAA tournament-sure with the No. 4 seed in the Pac-12 event at 19-9 overall and 11-6 in the convention. UCLA defeated the Cougars at Pauley Pavilion in January.

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The Pac-12 has six teams in ESPN’s latest projected NCAA event discipline, which is expanding to 68 groups for the 1st time. The Bruins, who have advanced to the NCAA regional semifinals in 4 of the last five tournaments, are not even between the 1st or upcoming 4 out.

But Shut says she hasn’t looked at any “bracketology” projections. She alternatively is focused on how the Bruins can “attack the now.”

“That’s what we’ve been seriously focusing on: getting definitely current-centered,” she explained. “To the extent that we can are living and really remain in that room, we can seriously surprise some people today.”

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