Women’s basketball bounced out of playoffs

    The women’s basketball season ended on March 12 in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament and finished with a record of 15-13 overall. UCSD lost to undefeated and top-ranked Seattle Pacific 79-59 at it’s home arena. UCSD began its season with a loss to Seattle Pacific, 89-57.

    This marked the first game that UCSD has played in the Division II tournament since being moved up from Division III.

    “We are thrilled about making the playoffs since it has been a goal of ours since we have made the transition to Division II,” senior guard Ali Ginn said. “Playoffs have been a motivating factor for us all year long, and it is an important step in taking our program to the next level.”

    UCSD was able to hang with the top-ranked team for much of the first half, but Seattle Pacific finally managed to pull away toward the end of the period. The Falcons’ had the lead 39-31 at half time.

    Seattle Pacific continued to play tough throughout the second half and its lead grew until the game was well out of reach for the Tritons. The Falcons forced 16 Triton turnovers and committed only seven itself. The Seattle Pacific defense also held the Tritons to 25-percent shooting while it shot at over 45 percent for the game.

    UCSD, like it has all season, outrebounded the Falcons, 49-39. This has been UCSD’s strong point all season, as the Tritons have only been outrebounded in six of its 28 games.

    Freshman guard Leora Juster led the Tritons with 12 points, going 3-for-9 from behind the arc. Ginn finished her UCSD basketball career with 10 points in the game. Junior forward Margaret Johnson had 11 points and seven rebounds, and junior center Stacy Gallagher-Bolton grabbed 13 boards.

    Kristin Poe had a game-high 18 points and eight rebounds for the Falcons, who had three other players score in double digits. Mandy Wood, Michelle Beaumont and Amy Taylor all scored at least 10 points for Seattle Pacific, and Brittney Kroon added nine points and 12 rebounds.

    Seattle Pacific won 48 its last 49 home games. The team is perfect this season, moving to 28-0 after its win over UCSD.

    Ginn knew before the game that this was a very good basketball team that would be tough to beat. “We needed a total team effort to win,” she said.

    The team looks to improve again next year, as it returns 14 of its 16 players. Four starters will return next year. Sophomore guard Andrea Herold with Johnson, Bolton-Gallagher and Juster are four of the starting five.

    UCSD loses two seniors to graduation this year. Seniors Ginn, number 25, and Robyn Phillips, 20, played their last game in a UCSD uniform.

    Both Johnson and Ginn were named to the All-CCAA Second Team this year. For team co-captain Ginn, it is her third All-CCAA team. This is her second time being named to the Second Team, and last year she became the first UCSD women’s basketball player to make the First Team. She retires as UCSD’s all-time leading scorer with 1,308 points.

    Johnson earned her first-ever All-CCAA team selection. She led the team in scoring with 12.5 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game. She produced eight double-doubles this year, giving her 14 in her career. She has led the team in rebounding all three years.

    Together, Ginn and Johnson helped lead the team to an 11-11 CCAA record, the best in school history, and the first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division II tournament.

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