UCSD surpassed the mark set in 2010 when the team went 25–5, breaking their 15-game winning streak to Humboldt State, who ultimately knocked the Tritons out of postseason play.
After rolling over the only other undefeated team in the CCAA, No. 22 Cal State Monterey Bay, the Tritons are looking at both a conference championship berth and a place in the national tournament.
On Tuesday, the NCAA coach’s poll — made up of 33 Division II coaches from around the nation — voted in favor of UCSD. The Tritons received 26 out of 31 first place votes, jettisoning UCSD into first place over Clayton State University (16–1), last year’s NCAA Division II champions.
“It’s a great accomplishment for our team to have climbed to the top ranking,” junior guard Emily Osga said. “However, it is rather meaningless at this point in our season. We need to be able to back it up and show its full implications by completing the second half of CCAA play as strongly as the first half.”
In the two preceding years, UCSD has collected over 40 wins, but had not been able to break through to the national tournament. This season, after returning all of its starters, the Tritons look poised for success.
The squad is replete with head coach Charity Elliott returning for her fifth season at the helm, as well as 2011 Triton Athlete of the Year, senior guard Chelsea Carlisle.
Elliott — whose husband Chris Elliott is also part of the coaching staff — has the best coaching record of any basketball coach in UCSD’s history.
She has amassed a 113–31 overall record for a 78 percent success rate.
In the midst of her final season at UCSD, Carlisle has some serious career stats herself.
The 2010 All-American has a career shooting percentage of 41 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free-throw line, recording 1,409 points.
No other guard in UCSD history has reached this watermark.
But in 2012, the highlight from Carlisle hasn’t been her threat from the field, but her ability to make the players around her better.
Senior shooting guard Daisy Feder averages nearly 11 points per game, senior forward Lauren Freidenberg has nabbed three double-doubles and is averaging 14.1 points per game along with 8.1 boards.
Junior standout Emily Osga is averaging 12 points and five rebounds, and has led the team in scoring several times this year, with a high of 23 points against Chico State on Jan. 7.
Sophomore Erin Dautremont has stepped up to help the Tritons this year. After playing in 30 games as a freshman, Dautremont earned the starting position and could become a leader for UCSD looking down the road.
“Right now, our mentality is to improve in practice every day and take it one game at a time,” Osga said.
The UCSD Women’s Basketball team looks better than any other team in the nation, and everyone knows it, and everyone will be shooting to take down the big dogs.