Heading into its weekend matches, the UC San Diego women’s basketball team hadn’t lost a game since Nov. 29. An astounding seven-game win streak was on the line as the team looked to face San Francisco State and Sonoma State on the road this past weekend. But as the Tritons have shown numerous times in the past month and a half, they know how to get it done.
In their Friday night bout against San Francisco State, the Tritons dominated the paint early on. By penetrating and controlling the glass early, they converted four straight layups to take an 8–0 lead. This domination beneath the glass carried on for the rest of the quarter, as UCSD overpowered SF State to the tune of 14 points to nothing in the paint. This was all led by junior forward Dalayna Sampton, who scored the opening six points to set the tone of the game.
But in the closing minutes of the first quarter, the Gators closed the gap to as little as two points, making it clear they weren’t afraid of a little adversity. Two points was as close as it was going to get for the Gators, however. After the Gators brought it back within two in the beginning of the second quarter, a layup by senior forward Cassie MacLeod and a three by senior guard Beth Mounier put the the team up by seven.
While the difference would remain within single digits for a majority of the game, the Gators were never able to make the defensive stops necessary to overcome the early Triton lead, as the Tritons came away with the 65–55 victory. Mounier starred in the win, scoring 19 points on 6–11 shooting overall, while Sampton continued her dominance down low with a team leading seven rebounds.
The Gators fell to an abysmal 2–13 record overall and 0–8 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.
The Tritons once again started out with an early lead: A Sampton jumper in the paint and a Mounier three put the team up 5–0 just a minute into the game. However, the Seawolves quickly closed the gap, tying the game within minutes and even taking the lead. A jumper by Sonoma State junior Jessica Mitz put the Seawolves up four, which was their largest lead of the quarter. This back and forth affair would be indicative of the remainder of the game, as the Seawolves looked to end the Tritons’ win streak at eight.
The second quarter was arguably the worst quarter for the Triton offense, as the team was only able to convert four of their 13 shot attempts and allowed Sonoma State to outscore them 18–13. After the Tritons took back the lead at the end of the first quarter, the Seawolves slowly gained momentum; the peak being another four point lead with 14 seconds left. But the Tritons had the last word heading into halftime — another Mounier three cut the deficit to just one.
While the third quarter was a relatively low scoring affair on both sides, the Tritons used this opportunity to take back the lead. By holding the Seawolves to just nine points and 30 percent shooting, the Tritons were able to take back the lead for good. With a dominant second half, the Tritons won their ninth straight game 72–64.
“We showed our resilience tonight,” UCSD head coach Heidi VanDerveer told the Athletics Department. “We struggled offensively but had Haley and Beth make big shots.”
Mounier had another strong outing, scoring 11 of her 22 total points in the fourth quarter off three three-pointers and two free throws. Sampton once again led the team in rebounds, grabbing a total of eight by the end of the night.
With the Triton victory, Sonoma State fell to 8–7 overall and 4–5 in CCAA play, while the Tritons improved to 13–3 overall and 9–1 in the CCAA. The team will return home to face Cal State San Marcos on Jan. 19 at 5:30 p.m.