Women’s Basketball Splits in Washington

    WOMEN’S BASKETBALL — A day after the UCSD women’s basketball team lost to No. 22 Seattle Pacific University, the Tritons got defensive against Western Washington University to finish 1-1 at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference/California Collegiate Athletic Association Classic.

    Senior forward Michelle Osier scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead UCSD to a 60-52 victory over the Western Washington Vikings (2-1) on Saturday night.

    “We really got after it defensively for a full 40 minutes tonight,” head coach Charity Elliot said. “I thought we did an excellent job of keeping our composure and weathering the storm when they made their run. It was a great team effort and we beat a very, very good team.”

    The Tritons got off to a quick start and used a 14-0 run in the first half to take a 16-point lead over the Vikings at the 6:09 mark. Junior guard Leilani Martin capped off the rally with five of her 11 points on the night.

    UCSD went into the break with a 28-16 lead and didn’t dial down its intensity at the start of the second period. The Tritons went on an 8-0 run fueled by steals from Osier and junior guard Annette Ilg and took a 40-22 lead, their biggest of the game, with 14:48 left in the contest.

    Western Washington chipped away at the lead over the next 13 minutes and came within six points with less than two minutes to play. All hope of a comeback, however, was cut short with a transition bucket by Ilg that put the game out of Viking reach.

    Defense led the way for the Tritons, as the Vikings went without a field goal for the final 1:43 of play — and it wasn’t just during the final two minutes that UCSD clamped down. The Tritons held Western Washington to 18-61 shooting (29.5 percent) and forced 30 turnovers with a season-high 19 steals.

    Osier said that their defensive effort helped the Tritons on the offensive side of the ball as well.

    “We played some of the best defense — 100 percent team defense,” she said. “We were rotating well and it really jumpstarted our offense. It was so much fun playing with that much energy.”

    In addition to her team-high totals in points and rebounds, Osier finished with six steals, while Ilg tallied 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.

    Against No. 22 Seattle Pacific on Friday night, UCSD came out strong despite the long journey to arrive at Bellingham, Wash. The Tritons scored the first six points of the game and never trailed in the opening half. Senior center Alexis Gaskin hit a jumper with two seconds left on the clock before the break to send UCSD into halftime with a 31-27 lead.

    The Tritons again jumped out to a quick start to launch the second period, taking a 10 point lead at the 14:36 mark off of a layup by Osier. However, the reigning GNAC champions were not done, storming back with a 13-3 run to take the lead 50-48 at the 6:30 mark.

    Despite the Tritons’ best efforts to retake the lead, the Falcons held on to their advantage and a Martin shot in the lane with 13 seconds left rimmed out to seal the win for Seattle Pacific University.

    Gaskin and Osier, both named to the all-tournament team, each finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Ilg chipped in 12 points and two steals.

    “We played hard for probably 35 minutes, but the minutes where we let up were costly,” Osier said. “They made a few adjustments defensively and that had a huge effect on us and our intensity fell.”

    The Tritons (2-1) travel to Fairbanks, Alaska, for their next games on Nov. 27 through Nov. 29 to compete in the Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational. UCSD’s first game of the opens tournament play against Holy Family University on Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

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