The Tritons, who returned every player from last year’s roster, were picked to win the conference from a poll taken by the CCAA coaches — and for good reason.
So far, UCSD has won all of its league games by an average margin of just over 22 points.
Its closest competition this season was in the last away trip against Chico State.
Last Saturday, Jan. 7, UCSD came from behind to force overtime.
The Tritons cut a six-point Wildcat lead with just five minutes left on the clock.
Still down by two, in the last possession of the regulation time period, senior guard Chelsea Carlisle came up with a steal and finished with a layup on the other end to tie the game at 70.
The lead changed hands five times in the overtime period, and Carlisle looked as if she would secure the win with a layup that put the Tritons up 80-82 with just five seconds remaining.
However, the Wildcats caught the Tritons on their heels, and Chico’s McKenzie Dalthorp equalizing with one second left on the clock.
In the second overtime period, Chico seemed to have run out of steam, as UCSD raced out to a six-point lead with little resistance, ending the game 91-97.
“That was an unbelievable effort from our group tonight,” head coach Charity Elliott said to the UCSD Athletic Department. “We simply refused to lose. We were down and we weren’t shooting very well from the perimeter, but we kept battling and we found a way to win against a very good Chico team.”
UCSD’s starting five all recorded double figures, with junior guard Emily Osga and sophomore forward Erin Dautremont leading the team in scoring with 23 points apiece. Carlisle and senior forward Lauren Freidenberg both chipped in 14 points, with senior shooting guard Daisy Feder knocking down 18 points.
On Friday, the Tritons took a comfortable 22-point win from bottom of the conference Cal State Stanislaus, beating the Warriors 83-61.
Elliot took the game as an opportunity to develop the bench, with the scoring distributed throughout the roster. Feder and Carlisle were the only two Tritons to record double figures, while freshmen Natalie Luzar and Dana Webster both scored eight points apiece.
“We set the tone in the first five minutes and really built on things from there,” Elliot said. “It truly was a team effort tonight and it was great to see some of our younger players get an opportunity and do some really good things.”
The Tritons sit at the top of the conference standings, with an 8-0 conference record and a 14-0 overall record.
Next Friday, UCSD will face Cal State East Bay (2-5), before taking on the only other undefeated CCAA team, reigning conference champions Cal State Monterey Bay (7-0), next Saturday, Jan. 14.