Tritons Dominate at Home

UCSD women’s basketball posts two impressive victories against CCAA opponents over the weekend.

T

he UCSD women’s basketball team improved to a 6–5 record with two conference wins against Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State over the weekend at RIMAC Arena. The Tritons are now 4–2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and 4–1 on their home court.

On Friday, Cal State Stanislaus started hot from the field and built a rapid 14–5 lead after four made three-pointers. However, UCSD shook off its slow start and scored an amazing 25 unanswered points to take a 16-point lead at 30–14. Despite a decent pushback from the Warriors, the Tritons kept a 42–34 advantage into halftime. 

Cal State Stanislaus came back strong after the intermission and cut the lead to six after three minutes of play. However, the accurate shooting night for UCSD continued, and they pulled away to win comfortably by an 81–68 score. 

Junior forward Farrah Shokoor had herself quite a night, dominating on both ends of the floor. She finished the game with 22 points and 15 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the season. Senior guard Miranda Seto contributed with 15 points, and junior guard Jamie Katuna sunk 18 points of her own to lead a bench unit that outscored Cal State Stanislaus’ bench 31–12.  Sophomore forward Cassie MacLeod contributed to this offensive explosion from the bench as she scored nine points in just nine minutes of playing time.

“We have a lot of depth this year,” UCSD head coach Heidi VanDerveer said. “I like to think that we don’t really have ‘starters,’ but a group of players that play hard in training and it shows during the games.”

After its outstanding win on Friday, UCSD hosted Chico State in CCAA play on Saturday and put up an even more dominant showing in an 86–57 victory, good for the third straight win. The Tritons shot an impressive 53 percent from the field while holding their opponents to only 33 percent shooting. 

UCSD quickly took a 10–2 lead in the game, feeding Shokoor inside for three layups in the opening minutes. Although Chico State inched closer to a three-point deficit after seven minutes of play, UCSD would not relinquish the advantage, taking a 10-point lead into halftime at 40–30.

It was another near-perfect showing from the Tritons’ offense in the second half, as they outscored the Wildcats 46–27 and convincingly gained a 29-point victory. They dominated in all aspects of the game, outscoring Chico State in the paint 54–20 and out-rebounding them by a 45–27 margin. 

“It all starts with our defense,” VanDerveer told the UCSD Guardian. “When we get good defensive possessions, we can score on the daybreak. We have guards who push the ball really well and forwards like [Shokoor] who run the floor really well too.”

Shokoor was once again dominant as she grabbed nine rebounds while scoring 24 points on an almost flawless 10–11 shooting. She filled the stat sheet, adding four assists, four steals and a block in only 23 minutes of play. The bench unit almost outscored all of Chico State by themselves, combining for 49 points, led by Katuna’s 12 points and MacLeod’s 11.

“Our forwards Shokoor, MacLeod and [senior Dana] Webster work very well together,” VanDerveer said. “Shokoor is shooting a high percentage, and it helps when our guards are good shooters. It means they don’t double-team down on the block, and our forwards can post up.”

With the strong weekend, the Tritons are now in a three-way tie for fourth in the ultra-competitive CCAA. UCSD will soon get a chance to move up in the standings as conference play continues next week when the Tritons host CCAA foes Sonoma State at RIMAC Arena at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 9. The following day, the blue and gold will face off against San Francisco State at home with a tip-off also at 5:30 p.m.