Undefeated for 10 Games in a Row, Can UCLA Become National Champions for the First Time?

Published 12/19/2023, 2:22 PM EST

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The UCLA women’s basketball team has been an unstoppable force in the Pac-12 Conference. The Bruins have won all their 10 games so far and are sitting third on the table. The Lady Bruins have sent out a clear message this season that they are on the hunt to win their first NCAA championship. They’ve set the standards so high that only a few teams can come close to their level.

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With such an impeccable show in such a short period of time, many people have started wondering if they can achieve national glory this season.

Lauren Betts leading the charge for UCLA

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UCLA is scoring at an astonishing average of 90 points per game in the opening month of the tournament. On the defensive front, they’re not letting any team score more than 60 points against them. Interestingly, these numbers include quality sides like UConn Huskies and Florida State Seminoles. The main catalyst behind their successful run so far has been the 6-foot-7 Lauren Betts. The sophomore center has been in prolific form this season and is currently the leader in terms of points, rebounds and blocks. The tallest player in the UCLA locker room, Betts is not just about her height. The talented No.51 has put on display her tremendous skills with the ball in her hand.

Lauren has shown that she possesses exceptional touch and patience on post-ups. She has the ability to dictate the game on her own whenever she feels she has the advantage on the court.

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Moreover, her accuracy to shoot has not gone below 60% from the field in a game this season. As a result, she is currently averaging 17 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and maintains an impressive field goal percentage of 77.4.

The trinity of Jacquez, Jones, and Rice

UCLA is blessed with three other standout players who are having an impactful season for them. There is hardly any challenge that the trio of Gabriela Jacquez, Londynn Jones and Kiki Rice can’t overcome. Kiki, who is the No. 2 high school recruit has turned quite a few heads with her artistry in playmaking. In addition to this, she has taken her game to the next level and has turned out to be an elite all-around point guard. Rice showed how good she is when she landed 24 points against a formidable opponent like UConn.

Londynn Jones is not too far behind Kiki. Despite being just 5-foot-4, the No.3 guard has lightning-quick speed with a killer jump shot. Jones is currently placed at No.3 in her team averaging 14.1 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. Last but not least, Gabriela Jaquez has turned out to be more of a team player. Although she is not known for her scoring, she was still able to deliver a 30 and 23-point game this season. Further, she has the potential to influence from anywhere on the floor.

Shortcomings for UCLA

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Although the Bruins haven’t shown much signs of any weaknesses, there are still some areas they can improve. Their defending on the perimeter has caused them some concerns this season. It was evident in their 77-74 win against Princeton. Evidently, their guards managed to breach their perimeter and scored 44 points. Another department to look into is their inability to deal with the turnovers which is cited to be a much bigger problem. The Bruins turned the ball more than 16 times in their clash against Princeton. Apparently, they are tied for 162nd and have an average of 16 turnovers per game.

UCLA has proven time and again this season that they are a force to be reckoned with. They have shown that they have the hunger and the desire to be the best. Furthermore, the quality and quantity of the talent they have in their locker room can pose a serious threat to anyone standing against them.

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Do you think UCLA can be NCAA champions this time? Let us know in the comments section

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Written by:

Shahryar Fazal

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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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