July 28, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Michaela Onyenwere reaches milestone in UCLA win

Senior Michaela Onyenwere became the 19th player in program history to score 1,500 points and No. 11 UCLA overwhelmed UC Santa Barbara 102-45 on Wednesday at Pauley Pavilion.

The preseason Associated Press All-American has 1,511 career points after scoring 17 against the Gauchos. Onyenwere, a 6-foot forward, is the focal point of UCLA’s new offense that aims to highlight the versatility of its post players.

As often as Onyenwere is sinking turnaround jumpers in the key, she is grabbing rebounds and pushing the ball up the court as a point guard. She added 10 rebounds and two assists as the Bruins improved to 3-`1.

“If I was a WNBA coach, there would be no doubt in my mind, she’ll be a top-five draft pick, for sure,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “And she’s not even scratching the surface. She’s going to be such a great pro. But it even pales in comparison to the type of teammate she is.”

Onyenwere said her scoring milestone is a testament to the coaches and her teammates, from those already in the WNBA like Jordin Canada, Monique Billings and Kennedy Burke, to those on the court Wednesday.

Guard Charisma Osborne had a team-high 18 points. Guard Chantel Horvat made her first start of the season and had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Forward Lauryn Miller had 12 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven assists, surpassing her previous career mark of five in the first half when UCLA went ahead by 32 points at halftime. UCLA’s 56 first-half points were more than Santa Barbara (0-1) scored all game.