The Bruins have been hit by another postponement, with their trip to the Pacific Northwest now delayed at the last minute.
Coming off a four-game conference winning streak prior to its loss to No. 8 Arizona, UCLA women’s basketball (9-5, 4-2 Pac-12) looked to be finally building momentum after a turbulent early nonconference schedule and extended COVID-19 hiatus. But now, the Bruins will have to wait once again, postponing their Friday night contest with Oregon to an undetermined later date.
Early speculation about the decision for UCLA and Oregon not to play on Friday brought up the possibility that UCLA did not have enough players to meet the Pac-12’s minimum requirement of seven.
Coach Cori Close has had to roll with a seven-player lineup throughout most of the campaign so far, with injuries decimating the depth the Bruins accumulated in the offseason. Guards Gina Conti and Jaelynn Penn were set to play large roles for the Bruins, but Conti has yet to appear this year due to a preseason foot injury and Penn has missed the past three games with a hand injury, leaving the backcourt depth slim.
Things took an additional turn for the worse late in Wednesday night’s game against Arizona, when guard Charisma Osborne fell to the floor with a non-contact leg injury and did not return.
Possibly only six players would have been available for the game against Oregon, one of which being guard Chantel Horvat, who was on a minutes restriction as recently as last weekend against USC. Forward Brynn Masikewich returned to make her season debut Wednesday, but played just one minute. With those two still working their way back to full strength, the Bruins' already shortened rotation was facing even more uphill battles.
UCLA had five-straight COVID-19 related cancelations or postponements from Dec. 16 to Jan. 7, setting the Bruins behind schedule heading into conference action.
In Oregon’s press release regarding the postponement, it says that the Ducks still plan to play Sunday against USC, so COVID-19 affecting the game seems unlikely at this time.
UCLA says that additional information regarding the postponement will be announced at a later date.
Regarding the Bruins’ game on Sunday versus Oregon State in Corvallis, UCLA has not put out any statement about the status of the contest.
The severity of Osborne’s injury is unknown at this time, but if either she or Penn are healthy enough or healed and can compete, it would give the Bruins the seven-player rotation they would need to play against the Beavers.