Women’s basketball goes 1-1

    The UCSD women’s basketball team went 1-1 in its most recent road trip, falling to Cal State San Bernardino on Feb. 16 and trouncing Cal State Monterey Bay on Feb. 19. The matches brought UCSD’s record to 14-9 overall and 10-6 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

    The Tritons were defeated by the Coyotes (16-6 overall, 10-5 CCAA), 61-68, in an exciting second half at Coussoulis Arena in San Bernardino, Calif. The Coyotes went into the game as No. 9 in the regional west, but now move to No. 4 with their win over UCSD. The Tritons remain at No. 10.

    Junior forward Karina Siam led the Tritons with a game-high 16 points. Senior center Margaret Johnson followed with 11 points and 11 rebounds, her 11th double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Leora Juster managed six points and seven rebounds, while sophomore forward Hillary Hansen, sophomore guard Kim Buffum and senior forward Katie McGann finished with eight points each. Buffum also aided the Tritons with three assists.

    Cal State San Bernardino’s senior center Sequoia Williams stole the court with 20 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Senior forward Nabosa Basse and senior guard Joyce Proctor each contributed 13 points, while Leilani Tirona added 10 points to the win.

    Cal State San Bernardino was especially strong from the free throw line, converting 85 percent (22-for-26). UCSD went 73 percent in the first half and 80 percent in the second half from the charity line. Both teams were similar statistically, with the Tritons trailing slightly in field-goal completions and three pointers. UCSD averaged 41 percent in field goals and 25 percent in long-distance shooting, while Cal State San Bernardino averaged 44 percent in field goals and 29 percent in three-point shooting.

    The Tritons led 31-26 at the end of the first half, but the second half was the real game decider. Cal State San Bernardino emerged from the deficit to take the lead in the 16th minute of the second half with a jumper from Basse. At 11:07, Basse completed another to give the Coyotes their strongest lead of the game, 46-39. UCSD came back late in the game to within two points of Cal State San Bernardino, 59-57. Johnson later posted a lay-up to make the score 63-61 with 34 seconds left on the clock. The Coyotes’ Williams managed to sink two of four free-throw attempts and Basse converted another two foul shots to take the win.

    The Tritons traveled north to challenge Cal State Monterey Bay on Feb. 19, defeating the Otters, 80-48. UCSD overcame Cal State Monterey Bay (3-20 overall, 0-16 CCAA) for the second time this season as the Otters finished out their first season in the CCAA league.

    Even though they only had a 10-point lead at half, the Tritons managed to get all of their players off the bench in the match, and every member contributed to the game in either points, assists or rebounds.

    At the 17:05 mark, UCSD led the Otters, 40-30, but over the next two minutes, the team went on a 10-0 run to lead 50-30 with 15 minutes left. The Triton reserves pumped the score by 32 points before the end of the match. UCSD was also aided by an extremely strong free-throw average, going 28-for-32 (.875) against the Otters.

    Johnson led the Tritons in scoring, contributing 18 points and nine rebounds. Juster wasn’t far behind, adding 16 points and seven rebounds, as well as four assists and four steals in the match. Buffum posted nine points, and junior guard Andrea Herold and sophomore forward Hillary Hansen each added six and nine points, respectively. Freshman forward Megan Eshilian had five rebounds for the win.

    Key players for the Otters included Jennifer Lopez, with 12 points and eight rebounds, Denise Sanchez, with nine points, and Michelle Hale, who added eight points and six rebounds in the loss.

    The Tritons will return home to RIMAC Arena on Feb. 25 to challenge Cal State Dominguez Hills and Feb. 26 to play Cal Poly Pomona, both at 5:30 p.m. The Feb. 26 game will honor the five seniors in their final home game.

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