Women's basketball grows even younger

    Last year the UCSD women’s basketball team was young. This year, the Tritons will be even younger with only five upperclassmen, including one senior, three juniors and one community college transfer. Youth will be most evident at the point guard position, where all four players competing for the spot are new to the program.

    Guardian file photo

    With new players doing most of the ball handling, UCSD coach Judy Malone will install a more up-tempo and frenetic system.

    “”We’re going to try to get the game up-tempo because we don’t have the size to pound the ball against some of the bigger California Collegiate Athletic Association teams,”” Malone said. “”Hopefully, it will take some of the pressure off of the new point guards as well.””

    While the point guard position is still uncertain, senior shooting guard Nichole Bromley has been a starter for all three years and will bring experience and leadership in the backcourt as the only senior on the squad.

    “”It’s always good to have lots of good, talented young players,”” said Bromley, who averaged eight points and five rebounds per game last year and is a co-captain this season. “”The junior class is very strong this year too. I have confidence in them.””

    Joining Bromley on the wing will be junior and fellow co-captain Ali Ginn. UCSD’s leading scorer last year, Ginn averaged 14 points and four rebounds during her sophomore campaign.

    The Tritons will get most of their inside play this season from sophomore center Margaret Johnson, the team’s leading rebounder from last season, as well as center Stacey Gallagher-Bolton and forward Karina Siam. Siam played limited minutes last year, but in an early-season exhibition loss to USD, 82-48, the sophomore forward turned some heads.

    “”Karina really played well against some of the bigger players at USD,”” Malone said. “”Even though we lost on the scoreboard, I felt like we definitely got some things accomplished.””

    Junior co-captain Erynne Faucett agreed with the coach’s assessment of the exhibition against the Toreros.

    “”It was definitely a test for us,”” Faucett said. “”Karina is very talented.””

    The other Triton post defenders also gave coach Malone some encouragement.

    “”For the most part, we stopped their big people inside,”” the coach said. “”We did some good things to take them out of their offense.””

    The exhibition gave the Tritons the opportunity to work on some things in a game situation.

    “”USD was a good test,”” Bromley said. “”It showed what we really need to work on and was a learning experience that showed us about stuff that you can’t practice.””

    With a new system, the Tritons will be joining the trend of change in the CCAA conference this season.

    “”Lots of teams [in the CCAA] reloaded with transfers from junior colleges or Division I schools. The conference will definitely be tough,”” Malone said.

    Bromley was cautiously optimistic about the beginning of the season.

    “”We could have a slow start with so many new players and a new system,”” Bromley said. “”But no one is turning away from the challenge. Our talent, heart and hustle will make the difference and we’ll get it going.””

    UCSD has one more preseason scrimmage against a different USD, the University of South Dakota, on Nov. 15 at RIMAC Arena. The regular season starts Nov. 22 and Nov. 23 when the UCSD will travel to Billings, Mont., to face Montana State-Billings on back-to-back days.

    “”It should be a good opportunity for our team to bond even more,”” Faucett said. “”We’re all excited about the trip and starting the season.””

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