Supremacy on the Home Court

    WOMEN’S BASKETBALL — Coming into the final stretch of the season, the Tritons are firing on all cylinders.

    The eighth-ranked women’s basketball team was victorious against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Feb. 4 and Cal State Los Angeles on Feb. 6, winning both games by a combined 52 points. UCSD beat Cal State Dominguez Hills 83-57 and rolled past Cal State Los Angeles 75-43 for the team’s 18th and 19th wins of the season.

    “We are finally all on the same page on both defense and offense,” senior guard Annette Ilg said. “We are able to run our sets very effectively now, and the chemistry on the team just seemed to click this week.”

    Playing against Dominguez Hills on Thursday, sophomore guard Daisy Feder had a career-high 19 points, while fellow sophomore guard Chelsea Carlisle scored 17 points. Ilg contributed 14 points and three steals to the Triton effort.

    The Tritons had a tough night at the free-throw line, shooting only 47 percent in the first half, which allowed Dominguez Hills to stay close.

    However, defensive pressure forced the Toros into first-half turnovers that the Tritons converted into 19 points — with 10 points coming on the fast break.

    The Toros found themselves in even deeper trouble when Neka Mixon, their leading scorer and rebounder, picked up three early fouls — confined to the bench for most of the first half. The Tritons took full advantage of this weak spot, holding a formidable 17-point lead at halftime.

    UCSD continued dominating after the break, extending its lead by as much as 32 points. Triton bench players contributed a season-high 42 points.

    Erik Jepsen/Guardian

    Later, on Saturday, the Tritons squared off against Cal State Los Angeles in a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Pink Zone game to support the fight against breast cancer, sporting pink jerseys in honor of the occasion.

    After a slow start, the Tritons took over the game, led by 19 points from Carlisle. Junior forward Tiffany Hunter, the reigning California Collegiate Athletic Association player of the week, added 11 points and six rebounds for the Tritons.

    The team struggled from the floor in the first half — shooting only 34 percent on nine-of-26 shooting — but was jump-started in the final minute by three-pointers from Ilg and Carlisle.

    The Tritons led 29-19 at halftime.

    That momentum pushed the team throughout the second half, putting the game out of reach with a thundering 28-0 run. UCSD never let up its defense, and the Eagles were unable to score for over 10 minutes of regulation.

    Despite the resounding conference victory, Ilg said the Tritons should focus on their postseason goals.

    “We realize that we have goals that are beyond just the game at hand. We need to be able to play 40 minutes of intense basketball,” she said. “The postseason is almost here, and we need to be ready to compete with the best teams in the nation.”

    The wins moved UCSD to 19-1 overall and 14-1 in conference play.

    UCSD will play a pair of road games this week: They stop by Cal State Stanislaus on Friday, followed Chico State on Saturday.

    Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].

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