Women’s basketball concludes season

The UCSD women’s basketball team concluded its 2005 season with a pair of Northern California matches that included a win over San Francisco State on March 4 and a heartbreaking loss to Sonoma State on March 5, which spoiled the No. 10 Tritons’ hopes for an NCAA West Regional berth.

UCSD (17-10 overall, 13-7 California Collegiate Athletic Association) led Sonoma State (12-15 overall, 11-9 CCAA) by only one point at halftime on March 5 but opened the point gap in the second half. The Seawolves trailed by 10 with six minutes left in the game but were able to effect much change in those six minutes. Jessica Jennings helped the Seawolves come within three points of the Tritons with a shot from behind the arc with two minutes, 43 seconds left on the clock.

Nochola Hester hit one of her two free throws and Maribel Ambriz of Sonoma State sunk both of her shots from the charity line to tie up the score with 1:15 left in regulation. Triton sophomore guard Leora Juster hit a jumper, but the effort was swiftly vanquished as Ambriz answered back with a jumper of her own.

With 21 seconds left on the clock, UCSD missed a shot and Ambriz handled the rebound but was fouled on her dribble down the court. Ambriz sunk both of her free throws with 12 seconds left in the match to seal the win and deny the Tritons any hope for postseason play.

Ambriz led the Seawolves in scoring with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists in the contest, while Jennings pulled down 11 points. Genny Anderson was the next leading scorer for the Seawolves with eight points.

Juster led UCSD with 16 points and four assists, while teammate senior center Margaret Johnson ended her career at UCSD with a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds, as well as a game-high six assists. Sophomore forward Hillary Hansen netted seven points and 11 boards, while senior center Stacy Gallagher-Bolton scored seven points and had eight rebounds in her final game for the Tritons.

On March 4, the Tritons defeated San Francisco State (7-19 overall, 6-13 CCAA) at the Swamp, trouncing the Gators 69-56.

The Tritons and Gators were tied 31-31 at the half, and San Francisco State took its only lead by one point at 32-31 off a free throw by Bianca Rayford with 19:23 left on the clock. The Gator’s lead was short-lived when UCSD regained control 20 seconds later on a three-pointer by Hansen, and the Tritons bumped the lead all the way to 15 when Andrea Herold hit a jumper, making the score 63-48.

UCSD was extremely strong from the free-throw line, sinking 15-of-16 shots (.938), and had an average free-throw conversion of .463, compared to the Gators’ .344.

The Gators’ Rayford completed her 11th double-double of the season, with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. Ashley Haggerty had 10 points on the game and Farryn Lewis managed nine points and three assists.

UCSD’s leading players for the evening included Hansen with a game-high 18 points. Following closely behind was Johnson, with 12 points and 11 boards. Junior forward Karina Siam managed 12 points, and Gallagher-Bolton posted seven points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Kim Buffum and Juster each had eight points in the game, with Juster adding five steals, while junior guard Andrea Herold had six assists and four steals.