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The Bruins came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, and they build enough of a cushion to lead the Wildcats from the opening moments all the way through the midpoint of the third quarter.

And that's when things started to slip away.

UCLA women's basketball (9-5, 4-2 Pac-12) led No. 9 Arizona (15-2, 5-2) by as many 13 points in the first half, only to wind up blowing that lead and getting caught on the wrong end of an 11-0 third quarter run. The Bruins continued to claw their way back into the contest, however, even taking multiple leads in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. But the Wildcats made the most of their numerous trips to the line and caught fire late, eventually winning 74-63.

The upset bid held serious weight early on, and UCLA countered Arizona's recoveries to stay up big for quite a while, but a shortened rotation caught up with the underdogs and their winning streak got cut short at four.

Wednesday marked the season debut of forward Brynn Masikewich, who only ended up playing one minute. Guard Jaelynn Penn missed her third consecutive game with a hand injury, while guard Gina Conti and forward Angela Dugalic remained out as they had been since the start of the year.

Still down so many bodies, UCLA showed no problems early on when they blazed out to a 15-2 lead. Even once Arizona's offense started getting shots to go, the Bruins continued to counter the Wildcats' punches and finish the first quarter up 11.

UCLA saw that lead reach 13 again in the opening minutes of the second, but then Arizona finally put its top-10 potential on display with an 11-1 run. The Wildcats' final four field goals of the half all came from beyond the arc, getting the Bruins' lead down to as little as two. A pair a 3s and free throws by guard Charisma Osborne, as well as a jumper by guard Dominique Onu, kept UCLA afloat and sent them into halftime up 36-32.

Onu started the third with another bucket, but the Wildcats hit two to tighten things up once more. A jumper by forward Izzy Anstey helped the Bruins create a bit more separation following a 3-pointer by guard Bendu Yeany, only for forward Sam Thomas to come right back and drill a game-tying triple moments later.

Arizona then went from making things close to completely taking over. That 3-pointer by Thomas sparked what turned out to be an 11-0 run, and it took less than two minutes of game time for it to reach that point. Even when coach Cori Close called a timeout, the Wildcats continued to run up the score on the other end of the breather.

In the middle of that run, Osborne went down with an injury and was carried off the court. She had scored a team-high 12 points at that point, and with her and Penn out, the blue and gold would be without their starting backcourt for the remainder of the night.

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UCLA answered that run and crushing loss with a layup by guard Chantel Horvat and an and-1 by guard Natalie Chou – their first pair of unanswered field goals since going up 15-2 – to stay in contention, and six straight stops held the score at 50-47 Arizona entering the final quarter.

Onu hit a layup to make it a one-point game again, and then forward IImar'I Thomas got one to go the very next possession, tying things up at 51 apiece. Guard Shaina Pellington came back with an and-1 on the other end, though, and Sam Thomas knocked down a pair of free throws to put Arizona back up by five.

UCLA wasn't going away, with IImar'I Thomas and Horvat converting on layups that made it 56-55, but Arizona started pulling back ahead from the free throw line. Forward Koi Love sank both of her attempts, and after Chou went 1-of-2 from the stripe on the other end, guard Helena Pueyo hit two more to give the Wildcats a 60-56 advantage.

Horvat drilled a 3-pointer, then Chou made up for her recent miss by nailing two free throws and putting the Bruins ahead 61-60. Arizona got two more free throws by Pellington to retake the lead, though, and despite going nearly 10 minutes of game time with a mere one field goal, they still managed to cling onto their late lead.

Again, UCLA answered the string of free throws with a go-ahead layup by Horvat, only for Pellington to go down the court and hit one of her own 11 seconds later, then another the possession after that. Sam Thomas followed that up with a second-chance 3, putting the Wildcats up 69-63 heading into the final two minutes.

Arizona ended the game on a 12-0 run following Horvat's clutch bucket.

The Bruins had responded to what seemed to be a crushing injury and run by going 8-of-15 and holding the Wildcats to 1-of-9 with four turnovers during that same stretch, but the free throws and minutes played piled up and cost them a shot at a defining victory.

IImar'I Thomas, Chou, Osborne and Horvat all scored in double figures, with Onu scoring nine in her own right. The Bruins shot a higher percentage from the field and from deep, won the points in the paint and points off turnover battles and only lost the rebounding battle by one, but the Wildcats got more than double the points at the free throw line and far outpaced their opponents on the fast break.

UCLA will resume its regularly-scheduled conference slate when it hits the road this weekend, playing Oregon on Friday at 8 p.m. and Oregon State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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