Women's basketball gets back to .500

    The UCSD women’s basketball team is on a roll. Behind two strong team performances, the Tritons earned a weekend road sweep of Cal Poly Pomona and CSU San Bernardino. The two wins evened the Tritons’ conference record at 9-9 and brought their overall record to 9-14 after an 0-9 start to the season.

    On Feb. 21, UCSD traveled to Cal Poly Pomona and built a 47-33 halftime lead. But the Broncos stormed back, starting the second half with a 23-9 run to tie the game. Cal Poly Pomona even took the lead at 60-59, but Ali Ginn and Lauren Sargent scored back-to-back three-pointers to put the Tritons up by five, and UCSD never looked back, winning the game 77-70.

    “”We were mad at ourselves for giving up the lead, but happy that we could withstand the run,”” said Ginn.

    UCSD had four players score in double figures, including Ginn (18 points), Margaret Johnson (13), Nicholle Bromley (12) and Katie McGann (11).

    “”We know it’s not going to make a difference for playoffs,”” said Bromley, who had 12 points and five rebounds. “”But it’s awesome to know that we could finish fourth or fifth in conference after the start we had.””

    The following night, the Tritons looked to extend their season-high winning streak to four games when they invaded No. 6 CSU San Bernardino. Again, four women from UCSD scored in double figures, and again, despite a late Coyote run, the Tritons emerged with a 68-62 win.

    “”It was a great win for us,”” said head coach Judy Malone.

    Ginn once again led the Triton scoring attack with 13 points to go along with five assists and five rebounds. Johnson added 12 points and eight rebounds.

    “”This was an awesome win,”” Bromley, who scored nine points in the game, said. “”We’re taking what the defense is giving us and capitalizing on that.””

    McGann again provided a spark off the bench for UCSD, scoring 11 points for the second straight night.

    “”[She’s] really doing a good job for us,”” Malone said. “”Having her play like this takes some pressure off of Margaret and Stacy [Gallagher-Bolton].””

    McGann also contributed 4.5 rebounds per game for the two weekend games.

    “”This is the most fun I’ve had playing basketball here,”” McGann said. “”The whole team is a lot more relaxed, and we’ve been able to win some close games.””

    After being injured for much of the beginning of the season, McGann has come on strong lately in the absence of Karina Siam, who missed both of last weekend’s games with a concussion.

    “”Katie played awesome,”” said Bromley. “”She stepped up and carried the team inside.””

    Along with McGann’s help off the bench, starting post players Johnson and Gallagher-Bolton pulled down a total of 30 rebounds in the two games.

    “”I challenged the posts a few weeks earlier,”” Malone said. “”I thought they were playing a little weak. I think they’ve changed their attitudes lately and decided to play strong.””

    More offense came from a relatively unexpected place when Thea Bachmann averaged 9.5 points per game and made five three-pointers during the two weekend games.

    After the games, Bromley echoed McGann’s sentiments.

    “”We’re feeling really confident,”” Bromley said. “”I feel really good right now.””

    UCSD will take that confidence on the road this weekend against UC Davis and Chico State.

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