UCLA Women's Basketball: Kiki Rice Still Stunned Bruins Didn't Advance Past Sweet 16

As are we, Kiki. As are we.
Mar 30, 2024; Albany, NY, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Kiki Rice (1) dribbles the ball against the LSU
Mar 30, 2024; Albany, NY, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Kiki Rice (1) dribbles the ball against the LSU / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

All-Pac-12 UCLA Bruins rising junior point guard Kiki Rice is unsatisfied with her team's consecutive Sweet Sixteen exits during her two NCAA Tournament appearances thus far.

In her new ESPN/ABC documentary "Full Court Press" (now streaming on ESPN+), Rice unpacks the full weight of her team's most recent defeat, against Angel Reese's 2023 title-winning LSU Tigers.

"I felt like we were in great position to win this game," Rice reveals. " Instead, Rice (four fouls), center Lauren Betts (four) and shooting guard Charisma Osborne (three) all found themselves in major foul trouble with the game close late in the fouth quarter.

"It really takes the game out of rhythm," Rice adds. "The players that you anticipate being on the court are not on the court, or you're playing differently because you're in foul trouble."

Rice was subsequently whistled for her fifth and final foul with 39 seconds remaining in regulation, which ejected her from the game.

"It was really tough just sitting on the bench, feeling helpless in a sense," Rice says.

Ultimately, the Bruins fell 78-69 to the then-defending champions... who would go on to be defeated by the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Elite Eight.

"At no point did I ever think we wouldn’t be in the Final Four and that we wouldn’t be playing for a national championship," Rice acknowledges. "Then all of a sudden that became the reality. I think being so close, honestly, and falling short, could be the fuel that we need for the future for this group."

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Alex Kirschenbaum


Alex likes slam dunks, take him to the hoop. His favorite play is the alley-oop.