Women’s basketball splits season openers

The UCSD women’s basketball team opened its season Nov. 19 at the Pepsi Tip-Off hosted by University of Minnesota, Mankato in Bresnan Arena. UCSD fell to the University of Minnesota, Crookston, 81-61, despite the hard work put forth by the Tritons.

Triton senior center Margaret Johnson led the team in scoring, posting 20 points and 11 rebounds, the only UCSD player to range in double figures. Crookston had five double digit-scoring players, including Karna Plaine, who posted 20 points, and Katie Carlson, who tallied 13 points and 13 rebounds.

The Tritons struggled to score throughout the game, with a .329 field-goal percentage and .241 three-point percentage. Crookston managed .450 for field goals and .471 on three-point attempts. The Golden Eagles also prevailed in rebounds, with 54 to the Tritons’ 36.

The Tritons had a huge comeback in their next game to top the Upper Iowa University Peacocks, 79-53, on Nov. 20 in the second game of the season. The Tritons are now 1-1 and the Peacocks are stuck at 0-2.

Johnson once again led the Tritons on the court in scoring with 15 field goals, but was strongly aided by teammate sophomore guard Kim Buffem, who posted 12 points, all of them three-point shots, sophomore forward Alexis Mazzetta, who posted 14 points and senior center Stacy Gallagher Bolton, who completed nine rebounds.

UCSD hit nine of its 17 three-point attempts, while the Peacocks only hit two three-point shots. The Tritons led 48-26 at the half and maintained their lead throughout the game, a highly improved completion average of 56 percent compared to their season-opening 32.9 percent.

The Peacocks’ lead players of the game included Christa Hammel, with 14 points and seven rebounds, as well as Krystal Sherman (11 points), Jackie Hunt (10 points) and Mandi Drees (nine points).

The Tritons will return to RIMAC Arena against Cal State Bakersfield on Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m.