No. 2 UCLA basketball remains undefeated this season, in no small part due to Kiki Rice’s contributions against No. 6 UConn. 

The sophomore guard dropped 24 points en route to her program’s first-ever win against the Huskies. She also grabbed 11 rebounds and eight assists. She led her squad to its fifth win of the season in its toughest match so far, 78-67. 

“We wanted her to come out with an attack mentality,” UCLA head coach Cori Close said to Michael Voepel. “She has put so much work in. She’s just been a rock star for us.” 

Charisma Osborne and Lauren Betts also showed out at  the Cayman Islands Classic with 18 and 13 points, respectively. 

“We really were confident that if we executed the game plan, that we were going to win,” Close said to the Associated Press. “I say that with great respect (for UConn) but I really believe in what this team is building.”

Paige Bueckers had a standout night for the Huskies, leading all scorers with her 31 points — almost half of UConn’s total. But no one else on the team scored more than 11 points. And head coach Geno Auriemma does not believe that is enough to win games. 

“You can’t beat a really good team with one player,” Auriemma said. “It was disappointing that we didn’t get more contributions from more people. Our combinations are all screwed up right now, so that’s got to get sorted out.. We struggled, we had our runs, we just didn’t have enough.”

LSU star Angel Reese headlines the roster for USA Basketball’s 2023 AmeriCup team, revealed Thursday.

Joining Reese are South Carolina’s Raven Johnson, UCLA’s Lauren Betts and Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson, among others. Eight players made the initial roster announced in May, and Texas A&M’s Janiah Barker, Oregon’s Chance Gray, Columbia’s Abbey Hsu and UNC’s Deja Kelly — were added to the roster after being invited to training camp.

Of the 12 players on the roster, five of them — Barker, Betts, Jackson, UCLA’s Charisma Osborne and Wake Forest’s Jewel Spear — have a combined seven gold medals as members of USA Basketball teams.

Reese, though, will be competing internationally for the first time. The 2023 NCAA champion faced a long road to USA Basketball. While she had been a finalist for a variety of youth teams, she hadn’t made the cut until this time around.


The tournament will run from July 1-9 in León, Mexico. Held every two years, the AmeriCup features teams from 10 different countries in North America, South America and the Caribbean. The United States has won the title four times, including at the last two tournaments in 2019 and 2021.

Team USA will compete in Group A against Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela. Group play starts on July 1.

2023 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup: Team USA schedule

  • Group stage
    • July 1 vs. Venezuela — 4:40 p.m. ET
    • July 2 vs. Argentina — 4:40 p.m. ET
    • July 4 vs. Brazil — 4:40 p.m. ET
    • July 5 vs. Cuba @ 2:10 p.m. ET
  • Knockout stage
    • July 7: Quarterfinals
    • July 8: Semifinals
    • July 9: Medal games

2023 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup: Broadcast information

All 28 AmeriCup games will be available via streaming platform Courtside 1891.

2023 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup: Team USA roster

  • Janiah Barker, F, Texas A&M
  • Lauren Betts, C, UCLA
  • Chance Gray, G, Oregon
  • Abbey Hsu, G, Columbia
  • Rickea Jackson, F, Tennessee
  • Raven Johnson, G, South Carolina
  • Deja Kelly, G, North Carolina
  • Rayah Marshall, G, Southern California
  • Charisma Osborne, G, UCLA
  • Laila Phelia, G, Michigan
  • Angel Reese, F, LSU
  • Jewel Spear, G, Wake Forest

LSU star Angel Reese leads the eight players selected for the Team USA roster for the 2023 Women’s AmeriCup.

“DELAYED BUT NOT DENIED. THANK YOU GOD,” Reese wrote on Twitter in celebration of her selection.

A leader for LSU’s 2023 national champion squad, Reese takes another step in her career on the international stage. She previously had been a finalist for Team USA’s youth teams, as she outlined on her Twitter account, but made the cut this time around.


Reese is joined by a bevy of other college stars for the tournament, which is held every two years and features teams from 10 different countries in North America, South America and the Caribbean. Team USA has won the AmeriCup four times, including at the last two tournaments in 2019 and 2021.

South Carolina’s Raven Johnson, Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson and Jewel Spear, UCLA’s Lauren Betts and Charisma Osborne, USC’s Rayah Marshall and Michigan’s Laila Phelia also made the squad. An additional five finalists were selected for training camp – Texas A&M’s Janiah Barker, Illinois’ Makira Cook, Columbia’s Abbey Hsu, Oregon’s Chance Gray and LSU’s Aneesah Morrow – with the 12-person roster to be announced before the team heads to the AmeriCup in July in Mexico.

As part of Group A, the U.S. will face Argentina, Brazil, Cuba and Venezuela. They will open up group play against Venezuela on July 1.

Former No. 1 recruit Lauren Betts is transferring to UCLA from Stanford, and the balance of women’s basketball power in California could be shifting with her.

With the transfer decision, the Bruins will have the No. 1 and No. 2 prospects from the 2022 class, with Betts joining Bruins guard Kiki Rice.

Rice made the Pac-12 all-freshman team in 2023, averaging 11.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists en route to UCLA’s first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance since 2019 — making it one round farther than Stanford, which lost in the second round. UCLA also upset Stanford in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.

The addition of a 6-foot-7 center in Betts makes UCLA an even bigger threat in the upcoming season, particularly as seniors Charisma Osborne and Camryn Brown have announced they will be staying for a fifth year.

Osborne originally declared the draft but withdrew her name to stay with the Bruins. She has been a major part of the Bruins lineup, averaging 15.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game last season.

Additionally, the team will add McDonald’s All-American forward Amanda Muse as a highly-touted recruit.

The 2023 WNBA draft is here, but some big-name prospects are not.

While many of the brightest stars in college basketball having declared for the draft, others have opted to return for another year, taking advantage of the extra year of COVID-19 eligibility. Just Women’s Sports takes a look at some of those who are running it back.

Rickea Jackson, Tennessee

Rickea Jackson became the first domino to fall in the list of players opting out of the 2023 draft, announcing her intention to return to the Vols before the NCAA Tournament even began.

Before her decision, she was projected as the No. 3 overall pick by Just Women’s Sports analyst Rachel Galligan, making her choice all the more surprising. But her return is big for Tennessee, as the first-team All-SEC selection led the team with 19.6 points per game while adding 6.2 rebounds per game.

Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech

Kitley announced her decision to return in the middle of the national championship game, but it still counted as headline news for Virginia Tech fans.

A former five-star recruit and two-time ACC Player of the Year, Kitley led the Hokies in points, rebounds and blocks per game last season as Virginia Tech made its Final Four run. She’s also the all-time leading scorer in program history.

Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech

Georgia Amoore is another Virginia Tech senior who opted to run it back, meaning that three of the Hokies’ starting five players will take the court together next season.

Amoore had a standout regular season, averaging 16.1 points and 5.1 assists while leading the team to the ACC tournament title. She’s better against better opponents, making her decision to stay a good sign for the Hokies.

Charisma Osborne, UCLA

While Charisma Osborne opted into the 2023 WNBA draft, she later withdrew her name, instead electing to use her extra year of eligibility. As reported by the New York Times, she even was told by a WNBA coach that the decision to remain an extra year could be a smart move.

Osborne will provide a boost for UCLA, as she has averaged 15.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game throughout her first four years with the Bruins. She also helped the team to a Sweet 16 appearance this year, and will link up with freshman point guard Kiki Rice next year.

Sedona Prince, TCU

Sedona Prince is another player who withdrew her name from WNBA draft consideration. Prince missed their redshirt senior season with an elbow injury and had planned to exhaust their remaining NCAA eligibility to pursue a professional career.

But those plans have changed, as Prince withdrew their name from the draft. She also entered her name into the transfer portal and is headed to TCU with two years of eligibility remaining.

Ashley Owusu, transfer portal

Despite reports that she might enter the WNBA draft, Virginia Tech shooting guard Ashley Owusu has opted to remain in the NCAA. But the former Maryland standout is once again in the transfer portal after spending the second half of the season on the Hokies’ bench.

Cameron Brink, Stanford

There was never a question about whether or not Cameron Brink would return for her senior season at Stanford, despite the fact that she is eligible for the 2023 WNBA draft by a single day. As Brink told reporters last October, college is “fun.”

“Why not stay?” she asked. “I think I want to stay just because I want to just continue to be a kid. Finish my degree in four years, not rush myself.”

UCLA senior guard Charisma Osborne is forgoing the 2023 WNBA Draft, electing instead to use her extra year of NCAA eligibility.

As a WNBA coach told Osborne and UCLA coach Cori Close, the decision could be a smart move.

To provide her players with the best possible advice about their futures, Close frequently touches base with WNBA coaches. One coach offered Close and Osborne a stark assessment about life in the professional league, the New York Times reported Sunday.

“Does Charisma want to make more money and stay in college and get massages, fly charter, have everything paid for, have a nutritionist and have her own trainers that are paid for?” Close said, quoting the coach. “Or does she want to have none of those things and fly Southwest with us?”

The latter scenario would hold true only if Osborne made the cut for a WNBA roster. The 12-team league is facing a roster crunch, with just 36 draft picks and 144 roster spots but more than 80 players on the draft entry list.

“We have all these people growing and mastering their craft, with no place to go in the United States,” Close said. “It’s just really sad that those are the conversations we’re having to have with our league and our college game being so healthy and vibrant and growing.”

Osborne had declared for the draft after UCLA’s Sweet 16 exit from the NCAA Tournament, but the 5-9 point guard has withdrawn her name. The WNBA Draft will be held at 7 p.m. ET on Monday in New York, and if draft entrants choose to withdraw, they must do so at least five days before (so, by Thursday).

Los Angeles Sparks guard Lexie Brown pushed back against some of the criticism of the WNBA, tweeting Tuesday: “Y’all really think we don’t have massage therapists, trainers, and nutritionists?”

Still, future top draft picks are weighing their options, including Iowa junior Caitlin Clark and UConn junior Paige Bueckers. Most of this season’s juniors and seniors have the option to use the extra year of eligibility granted to college athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tennessee senior Tamari Key laid out reasons players might choose to stay after she and her teammate Rickea Jackson opted to return for another season with the Lady Vols. Among them was the name, image and likeness policy, which opens up NIL deals to students.

Key also mentioned chartered flights, which have been a sticking point for WNBA players over the last few seasons.

“I’m not speaking for everyone when I say this, but I’m sure if you asked collegiate women’s basketball players that are staying an extra year, you would probably get an answer similar to any of these,” she wrote.

UCLA ended the year on a high note Friday with a 82-74 win over No. 17 Oregon but appeared to lose their leading scorer to injury.

The No. 10 Bruins were led by freshman Kiki Rice, who had a career-high 21 points and seven assists in the win. The guard went 6-for-9 from the floor in the first half and, with Friday’s performance, improved her shooting percentage to 54.5 over UCLA’s last three games.

UCLA head coach Cori Close, while happy with her team’s grit, wanted to see more from them on the other side of the ball.

“We didn’t play extremely smart, we have to work on decision-making, but we won on guts and toughness and determination,” Close said. “I told them ‘Thank goodness for that.’ We play real hard and when we combine that with playing smarter, we can be real special. We are not there yet, but we have so much potential.”

Senior guard Charisma Osborne exited the game in the fourth quarter after taking a hit to the shoulder. The WNBA draft prospect added 17 points before leaving.

Close was unsure of Osborne’s status after the game but hoped she wouldn’t be sidelined for long.

“A road win over a ranked team when our best player goes out and we withstand a run, then regroup and find a way to get the job done, those are huge things,” Close said. “We play a lot of freshmen a lot of minutes and these situations teach them so much so that is huge.”