The UCSD Women’s Basketball team had a trio of concerning performances as they opened the 2012 season at the Disney Tip-Off classic in Anaheim, Calif. After dropping the first three games of the season, in the tournament in which the Tritons also lost all three in 2010, UCSD will need to rebound significantly in its next pair of games at the Western Washington University Crossover tournament later this week.
Starting off 0-3, the Tritons are already far behind the 26-0 start they had last year under NCAA West Region Coach of the Year Charity Elliott, who is now in her first year with Loyola Marymount. In Elliott’s stead, first year UCSD Head Coach Heidi VanDeveer leads a team that started the three-day tournament without playing any prior exhibition games.
Ranked No. 8 in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ poll, the Tritons opened the tournament with two top-25 opponents in Gannon and Grand Canyon University. The Tritons dropped both games for their worst start since 2010 when UCSD lost their first five games. GANNON 69, UCSD 58
The Tritons started off their first game Friday, Nov. 9 on par with the Gannon Golden Knights from northwestern Pennsylvania, trading baskets until the game was tied 16-16 with 8:07 left in the first half. Trailing 30-28 at halftime, the Tritons couldn’t find their footing, as the Golden Knights went on a 10-1 run before the 15-minute timeout.
Fifth-year senior guard Daisy Feder put up a game-high 19 points and senior guard Emily Osga had 16 points with 6 boards. Redshirt-freshman Emily Morris made her first appearance as a Triton, logging one minute after sitting out the 2011-2012 season.
“I thought we did play with a lot of energy and effort,” VanDerveer said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “Gannon obviously is very good and were a lot sharper than we were offensively and really put us on our heels a little bit defensively.” Grand Canyon 64, UCSD 62 UCSD controlled the first half of its early afternoon game on Saturday, maintaining a small lead until halftime and closing the first half 32-29. The Tritons extended their lead in the second half, leading by as much as seven, before the Antelopes went on a 11-0 run before the 10-minute mark in the second half. Still trailing at the end of the game, a pair of free throws by Feder brought the Tritons within two, but two free throws by the Antelopes with 11 seconds left increased the lead to four. Junior guard Megan Perry hit a jumper before the buzzer sounded to reach the final tally of 64-62 for Grand Canyon.
Only six Tritons were on the board as Feder set a new career high with 28 points to go with nine rebounds. Junior forward Erin Dautremont and sophomore center Dana Webster also scored in double figures, with Dautremont putting up 12 from off the bench. Webster, who averaged 1.6 points in 17 games last season, had a scoreless start on Friday, but scored 10 points in 18 minutes in her second start against Grand Canyon. Simon Fraiser 61, UCSD 58 The third time was not the charm for the Tritons who traded leads and ties with the Canadian university for most of the Sunday night matchup in a nearly-empty Anaheim Convention Center Arena. UCSD had led 25-22 at halftime, though struggling to contain the Clan’s offense, managed to keep it close until the end.
Dautremont missed the mark on her three-point attempt as the shot clock ran out with 10 seconds to play in the game. With the score 59-58, UCSD was issued a shot-clock violation, giving possession to the Clan.
Simon Fraiser scored on a fastbreak layup and a last second three-point shot by Feder as time expired fell too far to the left of the rim, giving the Tritons their fourth-consecutive loss dating back to the Western Regional Finals game last March. Osga led the Tritons with 16 points. Feder put up 14 points, bringing her season average to 20.3. Dautremont chipped in 10 points.