Fresno State Basketball

Bulldogs fall behind UCLA early, can’t catch up in another loss to Pac-12 opponent

Fresno State’s Maddi Utti drives to the basket covered by San Diego State’s Khalia Lark in a game last season. Utti scored 20 Friday night, Dec. 7, 2018 in a loss at UCLA.
Fresno State’s Maddi Utti drives to the basket covered by San Diego State’s Khalia Lark in a game last season. Utti scored 20 Friday night, Dec. 7, 2018 in a loss at UCLA. ezamora@fresnobee.com

The Fresno State women’s basketball team is still 0 for the Pac-12 since 2014, losing 89-80 to the UCLA Bruins Friday night at Pauley Pavilion.

It was the program’s eighth straight loss to a Pac-12 opponent since the Bulldogs beat Oregon 68-59 on Dec. 21, 2014.

Three-point shooting proved to be Fresno State’s undoing against UCLA. The Bulldogs, who came in shooting 30 percent from long range, had a relatively good night at 36 percent (10 of 28) but the Bruins were an efficient 9 of 17 (53 percent), part of a 50 percent shooting night overall.

Fresno State had no answer for UCLA guard Michaela Onyenwere in the first half. The sophomore poured in 22 points to push the Bruins to a nine-point lead at the break. Onyenwere finished with a career-high 29 and senior guard Japreece Dean added 23 for UCLA (4-5).

The Bulldogs (4-3) got within 78-75 with 1:59 left on Kristina Cavey’s 3-pointer but the Bruins answered with a 3-pointer with 1 minute left and made 8 of 8 free throws the rest of the way.

Fresno State’s main offensive weapons, Candice White and Maddi Utti, combined to score 42 on 17-of-31 shooting. The rest of the team shot 14 of 34 and scored 38 points.

The Bulldogs next play Wednesday at home against Santa Clara. They get one more shot against the Pac-12 this regular season, Dec. 20 at Arizona State.

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