Women’s Basketball Already Riding Hot Streak

Tritons pull off back-to-back wins at Thanksgiving Classic to extend win streak to four.

The UCSD women’s basketball team went undefeated over the weekend during its sixth annual Thanksgiving Classic tournament held at RIMAC arena. The Tritons dominated the Dominican University of California in its first game of the tournament on Friday and pulled off a comeback win over No. 25 Azusa Pacific University on Saturday. The Tritons have now won four straight games and hold a 5–1 overall record.

Game One

The Tritons’ unstoppable offense was too much for the Dominican Penguins to handle on Friday. Senior guard Jamie Katuna scored within three seconds to start off the game, giving the Tritons momentum. The Tritons’ senior forward Farrah Shokoor combined with Katuna to quickly put up 10 points, igniting UCSD’s offense. The Tritons ended the first period leading Dominican 20–10.

The Penguins cut the Tritons’ lead to four after making two consecutive three-pointers to begin the second period. But the Tritons continued their offensive onslaught and put up 19 more points, making the score 43–25 going into the second half.
The Tritons kept the lead throughout the entire second half. Even though the Penguins were able to tally 45 points, UCSD outscored them and put up 52 points to secure the victory. The final score of the game was 95–72, resulting in the Tritons’ third consecutive win.

The Tritons’ junior forward, Cassie MacLeod, scored 21 points and grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds on the day. Shokoor, a 2014 All-CCAA selection, tallied 19 points and 11 rebounds. Both MacLeod and Shokoor recorded a double-double. Katuna finished off the day with 17 points, and junior guard Haley Anderson added 12 points.

“We’re definitely faster running down the floor,” MacLeod told the UCSD Athletics Department. “We’re in very good shape. We have a better connection this year; there [are] more vocal players.”

Junior forward Allyssa Weatherd of the Dominican Penguins recorded a game-best 25 points and grabbed 11 boards.

Game Two

UCSD took on No. 25 Azusa Pacific on Saturday at RIMAC Arena and came away with the upset after a second-half comeback.

The Cougars started out hot in the first quarter and led the Tritons by seven after 10 minutes of play. APU continued to build on its lead in the second quarter, with a three pointer putting them up by 10. However, the Tritons then went on a 15–5 run to even things out at 27 apiece. APU hit another three going into halftime to take a three-point lead at the break.

UCSD outscored Azusa Pacific 47–39 in the second half, behind a strong third quarter. Katuna had 10 points in the third frame, when the Tritons outscored APU 28–18. The Tritons tied the game up at 43–43 in the middle of the third quarter before going on a 14–7 run and entering the fourth quarter with a 57–50 lead.

UCSD never lost that lead, even with APU coming within one with 4:25 remaining. UCSD mustered enough offense and kept its cool to close the game out and earn a five-point victory, 76–71.

“The way our offense works, it opens up drives from the top of the key,” Katuna told the UCSD Athletics Department. “Being able to go through all of preseason this year — it really makes me more comfortable, and I am really trying to go all in this season.”

Shokoor, the tournament MVP, had her third-consecutive double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds, along with a game-high five assists. Katuna had a team-best 20 points, earning herself a spot on the All-tournament team, along with Shokoor, junior forward Kelly Hardeman of Azusa Pacific, senior guard Chelsea Barnes from Cal State San Bernardino and Weatherd of Dominican. MacLeod and sophomore guard Taylor Tanita also scored in the double digits, with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Tritons are back on the road this week to face Sonoma State on Wednesday, Nov. 2, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association matchup.