The UCSD Women’s Basketball team picked up its biggest win of the season last Friday, Jan. 11 against formerly undefeated Chico State before taking down CSU Stanislaus the following Saturday.
Although the Tritons’ weekend matches featured the empirically best and worst of the CCAA, the victories mark the first time UCSD has been able to string together three straight wins, a good sign for a squad still in search for consistency. ?
On Friday, No. 9 nationally ranked Chico State traveled down to RIMAC Arena with an unblemished 10-0 overall record, 6-0 CCAA record, to face the Tritons in front of the largest-crowd recorded for a non-spirit night game in UCSD’s history. The Tritons shot out to an early five-point lead that was quickly whittled down by the Wildcat perimeter, as shooter Annie Ward knocked down a three-pointer to put Chico up top. And although committing seven first period turnovers and getting outrebounded 15-21, the Wildcats went into the second half with a seven-point advantage. ?
“I think that we learned that we have tremendous character on our team,” UCSD Head Coach Heidi Vanderveer said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “When you look at the first half stats, we took maybe ten more shots than they did, we outrebounded them, had less turnovers and we’re still down seven. We were a little worried, but I thought our defense really stepped up in the second half and that enabled us to get out and transition and we grinded out some tough possessions down the stretch.”
In the second half, Vanderveer deployed sophomore forward McKennan Bertsch. The sophomore, who has seen extended minutes in the past few games, had arguably one of her best performances to date, picking up eight of her 12 points in the second period.
Usual suspects Daisy Feder, Emily Osga and Erin Dautremont also recorded in double digits, with Osga and Dautremont both scoring 11 apiece and Feder finishing with a game-high 19 points.
The same quartet would figure prominently in the Tritons’ third-straight victory over CSU Stanislaus the following day, with Feder, Dautremont, Bertsch — headlined by Osga’s 18 points — all finishing in double-digits. ?“I think [Osga] is someone who works really hard and wants to do exceptionally well, and I think the more she comes out and just relaxes and plays the better she is,” Vanderveer said.
With the pair of wins, UCSD improves to 8-7 overall and 6-2 in the CCAA, moving them to second place in the conference, tied with CSU Los Angeles. ?This weekend the Tritons have two more conference games slated, facing CSU Monterey Bay (4-3) on Friday, Jan. 18 and CSU East Bay (2-5) the day after.