Triton Road Warriors Add a Win

    With an overall record of 10-2, the UCSD women’s basketball team has painted a picture of a winning season much like that of last year. Led by sophomore forward Michelle Osier, the team has improved its winning streak to seven games by beating Cal State Bakersfield with a score of 72-61 on Jan. 13.

    Sanh luong/Guardian
    Aggressive defense by the Triton team minimized shot opportunities for Cal State Bakersfield and brought home a 72-61 victory over the Roadrunners to push the Triton win streak to seven.

    The game was back and forth the entire first half, and neither team was able to obtain a lead of more than five points.

    Two jump shots by senior center Hillary Hansen at the end of the first half helped the Tritons take a one-point 37-36 lead going into halftime. Osier also added 14 points to UCSD’s effort in the first half.

    UCSD came out strong in the second half, building a 10-point lead midway through the period.

    “”We picked up our intensity in the second half and Bakersfield didn’t match it,”” senior guard Leora Juster said. “”We were knocking down our shots. … We played efficiently and with more urgency than Bakersfield.””

    In addition to hitting their shots on the offensive side of the ball, the Tritons played well defensively, limiting Bakersfield’s attempts at high-percentage shots.

    “”We stopped their scoring down low by limiting the number of touches for their post players,”” junior forward Jillian Ricks said. “”We communicated well on defense and rotated, and that gave us a lot of steals.””

    The numerous stops on defense set up opportunities for UCSD on the other side of the ball. The Triton forwards took advantage of these opportunities, and they proved to be crucial to UCSD’s victory.

    “”Our post players did a really good job,”” coach Janell Jones said. “”Their defense took Bakersfield out of the rhythm of the game.””

    Ricks, sophomore center Alexis Gaskin and junior forward Alexis Mezzetta all played well defensively, helping to keep Bakersfield’s post players in check.

    Osier, who averages 9.2 points per game, scored a career-high 25 points and had nine rebounds. Hansen added 21 points and seven rebounds.

    “”Osier and Hillary had great games,”” Juster said. “”Osier was hitting every shot that she took. Both of them were making huge plays.””

    While Osier and Hansen led the way for the Tritons, some of the credit for their impressive numbers should go to Juster.

    “”Our leading scorer, Leora Juster, was double-teamed and sometimes triple-teamed, leaving other people open for shots,”” Ricks said.

    Despite Cal State Bakersfield’s attempts to limit Juster’s effectiveness, she still managed to score 16 points in the game.

    Good defensive rebounding was also a key factor in the game for UCSD, and the Tritons limited Bakersfield to one shot attempt per possession on most occasions.

    Not only did UCSD win its seventh straight game, the team also won its fourth game in a row on the road.

    The victory came a day after the Tritons crushed Cal State Los Angeles 68-36 in Los Angeles. UCSD now stands alone behind only first-place Chico State in the California Collegiate Athletic Association after knocking Bakersfield out of a second-place tie.

    The Tritons will come back home to play Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, respectively, looking to extend an already season-high win streak.

    Juster is confident that the team will do well in the two upcoming games.

    “”As long as we don’t play down and if we do what we usually do, they should be comfortable wins,”” Juster said.

    Jones is happy to be playing at UCSD after four straight road games.

    “”We’re coming home and we hope to get the fans and student body out to the game,”” Jones said. “”We expect to play hard for the fans and play as a team.””

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