Move Along

    The third-seeded UCSD women’s basketball team will advance to the semifinal round in the CCAA conference playoffs after defeating sixth-seeded Chico State in a hard-fought 76-71 victory on Tuesday.

    The win marked the Tritons’ third straight victory over the Wildcats this season. Despite having beaten Chico State by double digits on both occasions, the Tritons had a tougher time in the conference tournament, trailing the Wildcats 42-40 by the end of the first period.

    Chico relied heavily on perimeter shooting in the first period, sinking six three-pointers — half of which were provided by Chico forward Taylor Lydon, who finished with 15 points on the night. The Wildcats went an impressive 53 percent from the field, while the Tritons ended the first half shooting a paltry 38 percent.

    “It’s March Madness, and [we] and Chico know that if you lose tonight, you’re done,” head coach Charity Elliott said. “[Chico] played with incredible passion and fire. They were shooting the lights out first half, and we just talked about weathering the storm and kind of getting on a roll ourselves. I thought the momentum changed in the first five minutes in the second half, and we started taking control of the game.”

    The Tritons immediately seized the lead in the second period when sophomore guard Emily Osga hit a three-pointer to put UCSD up 43-42. From there, UCSD buckled down on defense to force three straight Wildcat turnovers.

    The Tritons continued to create offensive opportunities, outrebounding and outgunning the Wildcats in the second period, despite poor shooting from the Tritons’ All-American guard and leading scorer Chelsea Carlisle.

    “[Carlisle’s] not going to have very many games where she shoots that poorly,” Elliott said. “But what’s great about that is that we had other people step up — Emily Osga, Daisy [Feder] came in and had some big shots — that to me is as unique and special about our group, that [Carlisle] can go and shoot that poorly and yet we still have a way to win.”

    Carlisle had a tough game, but was still able to contribute 13 points and nine assists. Osga finished with a team-high 18 points. Junior guard Daisy Feder went 3-of-5 from behind the arc to collect 10 points, along with freshman forward Erin Dautremont, who went 5-of-7 to chip in 10.

    Junior forward Lauren Freidenberg had a stellar night, recording 17 points and 13 rebounds to get the Tritons through the second half.

    With five minutes remaining in the game, UCSD held a 10-point lead. But Chico continued to push, with Lydon and Chico guard Molly Collins — who led all scorers with 26 points on the night — combining to go on a 12-4 run to cut the lead down to two with just 14 seconds remaining. But the Tritons were able to hit their free throws and hold onto possession to get the win.

    UCSD will now travel to Cal State Monterey Bay, where the team will face off against second-seeded Cal Poly Pomona in the semifinal round of conference tournament on Friday, March 4.

    The Tritons have met with Pomona twice this season, losing on both occasions, but Coach Elliott believes the Tritons are ready to continue into the postseason.

    “Our team is excited to keep playing,” Elliott said. “We’re just excited we get to come back tomorrow and get after it and really at this point, everyone’s going to be playing their best, so let’s just toss it up and see what happens.”

    Readers can contact Rachel Uda at [email protected]


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