Wildcats Halt Six-Game Winning Streak

Erik Jepsen/Guardian

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL — After a string of blowout UCSD victories, the Chico State Wildcats proved the Tritons are not as invincible as they once seemed.

The UCSD women’s basketball team split its set of weekend road games, crushing Cal State Stanislaus 83-60 on Friday Feb. 12 before falling to Chico on Saturday Feb. 13 by a score of 77-67. The Tritons had won their last four consecutive games by 17 points or more before the Saturday-night dethroning.

There was little doubt of Friday night’s outcome from early on: The Tritons started the game on a 10-0 run, en route to their resounding 23-point victory over Stanislaus. UCSD held a 42-22 advantage at halftime, and led by as much as 32 points in the second half.

On Friday night, sophomore guard Chelsea Carlisle led scoring with 17 points. Junior forward Tiffany Hunter added 13 points and five rebounds. Overall, 12 different Tritons contributed to the final score in UCSD’s 14th straight win over Stanislaus.

The Tritons forced 24 turnovers that they converted into 27 points.

“Our defense started creating easy offensive opportunities for us, which is always our goal,” head coach Charity Elliott said.

Alisha Kelley scored 17 points to lead the Warriors, who fell to 5-16 overall and 4-13 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play.

On Saturday, Carlisle scored 18 points — on top of 17 points and nine rebounds from Hunter, but it was not enough to overcome a night of poor shooting, and the Tritons fell for only the second time this season. The Tritons shot just 32 percent from the floor, and hit only eight shots from the field in the second half.

Chico came out strong and led for the entire first half, going into the break with a 38-32 lead. The Tritons rallied and kept the game close, but a 7-0 run with 8:24 remaining gave the Wildcats an eight-point advantage that the Tritons were unable to close. Chico hit its free throws down the stretch, going 8-10 from the line in the final two minutes to seal the win.

Chico was propelled by a career-best night from senior guard Melissa Richardson, who scored 26 points on 9-18 shooting. The Wildcats also played well in the post, scoring 30 of their points in the paint and out-rebounding the Tritons 51-39.

On top of seeing its six-game winning streak snapped, UCSD fell to 20-2 overall and 15-2 in conference play. The Wildcats won their fourth straight game to reach 15-8 overall and 12-6 in the CCAA.

The Tritons will attempt a comeback on Tuesday against Cal State East Bay.

“I think we’ve made some great strides and have come to realize that you don’t get any do-overs,” Elliot said. “Every game is important.”

UCSD will then travel to Northern California to play against San Francisco State and Cal State Monterey Bay on Friday and Saturday.

Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].

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