Tritons Winning streak Up to Six Games With Weekend Wins

    WOMEN’S BASKETBALL — The UCSD women’s basketball team strung together two more wins this week at home, with a close 69-65 finish against Cal State L.A. on Thursday and a 74-45 win against Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday.

    The Tritons went into their game against Cal State L.A. having won their last four conference games, and their nine match-ups against the Golden Eagles. The Tritons took that momentum into the first half, outplaying and outscoring a more physical CSULA squad 40-28.

    Junior guard Chelsea Carlisle — the Tritons’ top scorer and main offensive threat in their previous six games — caught fire early on, scoring seven points in the first seven minutes. The Golden Eagles defense soon collapsed on the All-American, allowing Carlisle only two more points for the rest of the half.

    Increased defensive cover on Carlisle opened up opportunities for Triton sophomore shooting guard Emily Osga, who scored 12 out of her 17 points in the first half. The junior guard went three for four from behind the arc while also tallying 13 rebounds to record her first career double-double.

    Cal State L.A. pushed back in the second half, going 50 percent from the field and dominating the Tritons in the paint, amassing seven blocks and outscoring UCSD 20-12 down low.

    “Credit Cal State L.A. tonight, they just played their guts out,” head coach Charity Elliott said. “They played extremely hard, they hit a ton of shots and we got back on our heels a little bit when they made their run. I felt like that was the biggest issue. We got a little timid, and I told the team after the game [that] two months ago we would have lost that game.”

    The Tritons missed 15 out of their first 17 shots, while Cal State L.A. guard Gretchen Tiernan scored 11 out of her 17 points in the second period to cut the Triton lead down to three points with eight minutes remaining. Alisha Belt also came up big for the Golden Eagles, posting 17 points and 11 boards.

    UCSD was able to hold on to the win with major contributions from sophomore forward Erin Grady, whose last-minute layup extended the Triton lead to five points with 50 seconds left. Grady ended the night with 12 points and six rebounds.

    “Tonight, we managed to hang on and get the win, and I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty any day of the week,” Elliott said.

    On Saturday, Osga led the Tritons in scoring again, putting away 22 points in 25 minutes to lead UCSD to their sixth consecutive victory with a comfortable 74-45 win against Cal State Dominguez Hills.

    The only player in the game to collect double-digit points, Osga was stellar from the perimeter, finishing 8-11 from the field and 6-7 on three-point attempts.

    Grady, freshman forward Erin Dautremont and Carlisle — recently named CCAA player of the week — all contributed eight points apiece with limited playing time.

    The Toros opened up the scoring with a three-pointer from guard Hillarie Grant, but the Tritons responded, going on a 10-0 run to go up 13-3.

    With a bout of good shooting, Cal State Dominguez Hills snuck back into the game to cut the lead down to one with 13 minutes left in the first half, but that was the closest the Toros would come. A three-pointer from Carlisle followed by a layup from Dautremont extended the lead to six points, and from there excellent shooting from the Tritons — who were 54 percent from the field in the first half — kept the game out of reach for the Toros.

    “We always talk about getting good passes for a good shot,” Elliott said. “Tonight we had a lot of nice passes that led to great shots for our shooters. And we have some good ones.”

    With the pair of wins, the Tritons improve to 8-2 in conference and 10-7 overall.

    “We’re on a roll right now, and we’re going to keep it going,” said Osga. “This weekend is going to be big, so we have to have good practice and get after it again.”

    UCSD has two more games at home this week. The Tritons will face Cal State San Bernardino — who currently sits in second in the conference — on Thursday, Jan. 20 and third-place Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday, Jan. 22.

    Readers can contact Rachel Uda at [email protected].

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