UCSD women stay hot, extend winning streak to six.
No. 23 UCSD is now riding a six-game winning streak after defeating CSU East Bay and CSU Monterey Bay in back-to-back nights, to up their record to 14–2 overall and 9–1 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
UCSD vs. Cal State East Bay
The UCSD Tritons women’s basketball team defeated the Cal State East Bay Pioneers 56–54 on the road this past Friday night. The victory over the Pioneers extended the Tritons’ winning streak to five straight games and improved their overall record to 13–2; the nationally-ranked Tritons have only lost one conference game to the currently undefeated Cal State Dominguez Hills earlier in the season, making their CCAA record 8–1. After taking their first loss in conference play Friday night against the Tritons, the Pioneers’ current overall record is 13–3 with a 7–1 record in CCAA matchups; they dropped to third place in the CCAA while the Tritons moved into second behind the 9–0 Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros.
The game between the Tritons and the Pioneers was a battle to the very last minute between two of the top teams in the CCAA. Senior forward Farrah Shokoor had a huge game for the Tritons, putting up 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season. Shokoor also had two blocks and two steals in the game. Senior guard Jamie Katuna came up clutch in the last five minutes of the game by making three free throws and giving the Tritons a three-point lead when the score tied up at 48–48. Katuna then scored a layup and made two more baskets from the charity line, securing the win for the Tritons.
The Tritons started the match off strong. UCSD took an early 5–4 lead after Shokoor was fouled while going up for a layup, resulting in an easy three-point play for the Tritons. Freshman guard Joleen Yang hit a three-pointer to make the score 10–4 in the Tritons’ favor. Junior guard Beth Mounier then made a two-point jumper and Shokoor added a point from the free-throw line making the score 13–12 in UCSD’s favor, ending the first quarter. Senior guard Shannon Bland of Cal State East Bay had a solid first 10 minutes of the game, putting up eight of the Pioneers’ 12 points.
The second quarter started off slow for both teams. The score was tied up at 15–all until sophomore guard Paige Song hit a fade-away jumper for two to get the ball rolling for the Tritons. They put up a total of six unanswered points, making the score 21–15. The Pioneers battled back, making the score 22–19 after hitting four free throws between their senior forward Bianca Littleton and senior guard Madison Craig; UCSD continued to score nine more points late in the second quarter, making the score 30–21 at halftime.
The Pioneers came out strong during the third quarter, putting up a quick six points to make the score 30–27 as the Tritons struggled to make ten points in the quarter. Cal State East Bay continued to rally back, tying the score up at 40–40 to begin the fourth quarter. After a timely steal, and a huge three pointer by Shokoor, the Tritons were able to put up a total of seven points to take the lead. The Pioneers quickly tied the game back up at 47–47 with 6:03 left on the clock due to a couple of free throws sunk by Bland and Craig. Junior guard Haley Anderson and Katuna came up clutch, making four easy points for the Tritons from the charity line, giving UCSD a 51–48 lead. The last three minutes of the game were all free throws, making the score as 55–54 in the Tritons’ favor. Sophomore guard Taylor Tanita grabbed an offensive rebound with one second on the game clock to finish the Pioneers off; she hit both her free throws, resulting in the final score of 56–54 UCSD.
UCSD vs. Cal State Monterey Bay
The No. 23 Tritons came back after being down 15 points to defeat the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters, 67–57, in a California Collegiate Athletic Association match-up on Saturday night.
“I’m very proud of my team’s effort tonight,” UCSD Head Coach Heidi VanDerveer told UCSD Athletics Department. “A mark of a championship team is finding ways to win and dealing with adversity. That was what happened tonight.”
UCSD is now 14–2 overall and holds a 9–1 record in conference play.
Shokoor led the Tritons Saturday night with 24 points and 19 rebounds, resulting in her tenth double-double of the season. Katuna also put up 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Tritons. The Tritons dominated the free-throw line, outscoring Cal State Monterey Bay 18–0; junior guard Victoria Dorn and senior forward Jazmine Johnson combined for 23 points for Cal State Monterey.
The first two quarters were all Otters as they led 35–26 at halftime.
The Otters came out strong again during the third quarter, putting up seven quick points, resulting in a score of 42–27. UCSD, led by Shokoor, fought back throughout the third, cut the Otters’ lead to only four points, with the score being 50–46 going into the last 10 minutes of the game. It took one more basket by the Otters to fire up the UCSD offense. Katuna and Shokoor took charge of the Triton’s offense with a couple of steals, blocks and clutch baskets to give the Tritons a one-point lead with 5:31 left in the game. Katuna put up four more points, and a big three-pointer from junior guard Beth Mounier allowed the Tritons to extend their lead to a comfortable 62–54 with 1:54 left in the game. Katuna and Shokoor hit a couple more free throws to make the final score 67–57 for the Tritons’ sixth-straight win.
The Tritons return home for Spirit Night at RIMAC Arena this Friday, Jan. 22, for their biggest game of the season so far against undefeated Cal State Dominguez Hills. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.