UCSD Gets Eighth Straight Win

    The No. 18 UCSD women’s basketball team posted wins in all three of its home games last week to push its winning streak to eight games. The Tritons followed up their win against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Feb. 6 with a 66-59 victory against Sonoma State on Feb. 9 and a 66-55 win against Humboldt State on Feb. 10.

    Sanh Luong/Guardian
    Junior forward Meaghan Noud faces some serious defensive pressure in a shot attempt against the Toros, but defense hasn’t stopped the Tritons, who have won eight straight games.

    UCSD came out strong against Humboldt State, taking a commanding 20-6 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. However, Humboldt State’s 5-for-9 shooting from behind the arc and nine points off of UCSD turnovers brought the Lumberjacks to within two points at the end of the half.

    The game remained close in the second half, and Humboldt State took its first lead with 12 minutes, 30 seconds left in the game and the score at 35-34. However, UCSD made sure it was the Lumberjacks’ only lead. Key steals by sophomore forward Michelle Osier and quality free-throw shooting by senior guard Leora Juster allowed the Tritons to pull away and hold off Humboldt State’s attack.

    “”We were just focusing on defense,”” Osier said. “”The offense will always come to you, but our defense is something we take pride in.””

    Sanh Luong/Guardian
    Senior guard Leora Juster gets tangled up with an opponent as she attempts to drive to the hoop. Juster’s ball control has been a big component of her exceptional play of late.

    Osier finished the game with nine points and eight rebounds, and her four steals helped to preserve the win for UCSD.

    Juster was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line and finished the game with a double-double. Her 18 points and 11 rebounds were both game highs.

    The Tritons came to play in front of a large, enthusiastic crowd against Sonoma State on Spirit Night. For a team that has many threats from the outside, UCSD’s low-post game was strong early in the game as eight of its first 13 points came from down low.

    Junior center Jillian Ricks had seven points in the first 10 minutes of the game, and the Tritons’ post game and defense kept Sonoma State at bay for most of the first half.

    With about five minutes left in the first half and the Tritons holding on to a 28-17 lead, Sonoma fought back with a run of its own. Aided by three three-pointers, the Seawolves went on an 11-4 run to finish the half down by only four points, 32-28.

    The game remained close for most of the second half with Sonoma State finding success in its outside shot. However, the Tritons stepped up their defense and pulled away from the Seawolves in order to take an 11-point lead with five minutes left in the game.

    The Tritons let the Seawolves come back to within three points with 1:42 left, quieting the large crowd for the first time that night. However, big shots by Juster and Osier sealed the win for the Tritons.

    Overall, UCSD’s low-post game was effective all night against Sonoma State. Osier finished with a double-double, and her 20 points and 12 rebounds were both game highs. Ricks finished with 14 points, and sophomore center Alexis Gaskin played well off the bench and collected four points and nine rebounds for the Tritons.

    With the game on Spirit Night, the Tritons had their largest home crowd of the season cheering them on.

    “”A crowd on your side always helps,”” Juster said. “”It adds an extra level of excitement and it keeps your legs going.””

    In both of their weekend games, the Tritons had to fight off comeback attempts to win.

    “”I think it’s confidence and a level of calm that lets us win,”” Juster said. “”Good teams do things differently to fight back, but they don’t freak out and they keep playing well. In the past, we might have fallen behind. Now, we have a controlled urgency.””

    This week, UCSD will host Cal State Bakersfield on Feb. 16, and Cal State Los Angeles on Feb. 17. Both Cal State Bakersfield and UCSD have conference records of 14-2 and are tied for first in the California Collegiate Athletic Association rankings.

    “”The game against Bakersfield should be tough,”” Osier said. “”They beat [No. 11] Chico State by 33 points. It’s going to be a full-on war.””

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