April 21, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Red-hot UCLA remains at No. 5 in women’s basketball rankings

After extending its winning streak to five with a 60-57 victory over Arizona State on Jan. 29, UCLA stayed at No. 5 in this week’s Associated Press Poll, remaining at the program’s highest ranking since 2017.

The Bruins (10-2, 8-2 Pac-12) are the top-ranked two-loss team in the country and lead the four ranked Pac-12 Conference teams, which include No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Arizona and No. 12 Oregon. The Bruins will try to stay undefeated in 2021 this weekend with road games at Washington State on Friday and Washington on Sunday.

Stanford and Arizona are the only teams to beat UCLA this season. The Bruins have already avenged their loss to the Cardinal, but their opportunity to make up for a 68-65 loss to Arizona on Dec. 4 was postponed when the Wildcats paused team activities because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The Bruins were scheduled to host Arizona on Jan. 31.

UCLA’s winning streak includes a 73-71 win over Oregon, which was the Ducks’ first loss of the season, a 68-66 overtime nail-biter against Washington State at Pauley Pavilion and a 70-66 win against Stanford in Santa Cruz. The Bruins, who have just eight scholarship players available, have won four of their last five games by a combined 11 points. The only comfortable victory was a 25-point blowout against Utah on Jan. 10.

Sophomore point guard Charisma Osborne is averaging 24.6 points in the last five games after averaging 15.6 points in seven games before the holiday break.

Undefeated Louisville (16-0) remained at the top of the rankings this week, followed by No. 2 South Carolina (14-1), No. 3 Connecticut and No. 4 North Carolina State. UConn (11-1) suffered its first loss of the season last week, losing 90-87 to No. 16 Arkansas, but rebounded with a dominant 100-67 victory over No. 20 DePaul to keep its No. 3 ranking. N.C. State (11-1) dropped two spots after losing in overtime to unranked Virginia Tech.