Triton Women Split First Two Conference Matches of Season

UCSD takes decisive win against Cal State San Marcos at home, suffers loss in road match against Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Photo by Megan Lee
Photo by Megan Lee

The UCSD women’s basketball team opened its season with a pair of tilts against California Collegiate Athletic Association rivals. After winning the first game against Cal State San Marcos in convincing fashion on Saturday at home, UCSD suffered a setback in the second game, falling to defeat Cal State Dominguez Hills on the road on Tuesday. The Tritons stand at 1–1 in CCAA play and overall.

Game One

“We are playing a lot of young people, but they are very lucky because they are playing with a very solid core of veterans like Farrah Shokoor, Taylor Tanita, Cassie Callahan and Cassie Macleod,” UCSD women’s basketball Head Coach Heidi VanDerveer told the UCSD Athletics Department.

UCSD started off slow, quickly falling down by eight points after only 10 minutes of play. The perimeter defense suffered against Cal State San Marcos, as UCSD allowed five three-pointers in the first quarter. UCSD closed out the first quarter down 21–13.

“In the first seven minutes of the game we didn’t come to the party,” VanDerveer said. “The party started without us. That can’t happen. We have to really start from the very beginning, and if that happens we will be really great offensively.”

The Tritons responded in the second quarter and went on a quick 16–3 run, fueled by a senior forward Farrah Shokoor layup, two three-pointers from junior guard Beth Mounier and two more made shots by senior guard Jamie Katuna. UCSD continued to put pressure on the Cougars, with Mounier adding another three-pointer and Katuna sinking a couple of free throws to bring the lead to eight at the break. After 20 minutes of play, the Tritons were up 38–30 over the Cougars.

Coming out of the break, the Cougars had a 10–2 run to tie the game up at 40 apiece. The Tritons did not let that get to them, however, and went on to score 22 points to finish the quarter with a 62–49 advantage, thanks to sophomore guard Taylor Tanita’s five points and junior forward Cassie MacLeod’s six.

After a little more than five minutes played in the fourth quarter, a layup from MacLeod put the Tritons up by 18 points, their biggest lead of the game. Up 73–51, UCSD released the pressure a little bit, and Cal State San Marcos scored nine points to close out the game. With such a comfortable advantage, UCSD won the game by 13 points, 73–60, in its first meeting with its new conference opponents.

“I think we have tremendous depth,” VanDerveer said. “We have good versatility and flexibility. It’ll make us better, especially on back-to-backs.”

Shokoor, an all-CCAA and all-West Region selection last season, almost had a double-double with a game-high 19 points, to which she added nine boards. MacLeod added eight points and 10 boards, which both Katuna and Mounier scored in double figures with 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Game Two

UCSD was back at it on Tuesday night at the Toro Drome to take on Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Tritons could not shake off a horrendous shooting performance and lost 69–45.

The Tritons suffered another slow start in this game, trailing 7–3 right out of the gate. However, UCSD did not wait to respond and finished the first quarter up by two points, 13–11.

The second quarter went back and forth. Cal State Dominguez Hills took back the lead before UCSD tied the game up at 20 apiece after a Shokoor layup. The Toros finished the quarter with a 13–7 run to take a lead they did not relinquish.

Down 27–33 at halftime, UCSD cut its deficit to five after five minutes of play in the third quarter, but another run from Cal State Dominguez Hills put UCSD in a 15-point hole at the end of the third quarter.

The Tritons never recovered from that third quarter 10–0 run by the Toros and allowed another 20 points in the final frame, scoring only 11 points and ultimately losing by 24 points, 69–45.

Katuna had a team high of 14 points. Shokoor had nine rebounds for the second consecutive game but suffered through a rough night of shooting. The two were overshadowed by Cal State Dominguez Hills senior guards Breanne Garcia, who led all players with 29 points, and Monay Lee, who chipped in 17. Fellow senior guard Kielyn Wilson had the only double-double in the game, compiling 11 points and 10 boards.

The Tritons will travel to Azusa Pacific University on a short week for the Northwest Classic. UCSD plays Seattle Pacific University on Friday, Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. and Western Washington University on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.