The Tritons fell to Seattle Pacific before taking down No. 13 Western Washington in overtime
Against Division II powerhouses — No. 21 Seattle Pacific and No. 13 Western Washington — the UCSD women’s basketball team went 1–1 in a preseason tournament that brought forth would could be its new class of marquee players.
Juniors Miranda Seto and McKennan Bertsch both had big weekends. Seto – who could only be relied upon for a handful of points last season — scored 17 points against Seattle Pacific and 16 against Western Washington, following up on a career-high 21 points in UCSD’s season opener. Similarly, Bertsch — a 5-foot-11-inch forward who seems to have come into her own at the start of the season -— posted 14 points on top of 13 rebounds last Saturday to power UCSD’s 72–66 overtime win against Western Washington.
The two, along with four-year starting forward Erin Dautremont and senior guard Megan Perry, will look to fill in the gaps left in the roster by graduated All-CCAA guards Daisy Feder and Emily Osga.
“Last year, we really relied on [Feder] to score points, but since we’ve lost her we’ve just all had to step up,” Seto said. “Last year me and Megan Perry weren’t as aggressive, and we knew that we needed to be more aggressive on offense to fill in for Daisy and Emily.”
Last Saturday, UCSD got off to a slow start against the Vikings, down 32–19 by the end of the first half.
“In the first half, we shot poorly and we were totally out of sync,” UCSD head coach Heidi VanDerveer said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “We regrouped at halftime and showed tremendous character the rest of the way.”
Within the first five minutes of the second half, the Tritons overtook the lead on a flurry of three-pointers. UCSD struggled back and forth with Western Washington leading to a 55–55 tie.
From there UCSD took over, never giving up the lead from the outset of the overtime period.
“In the first half, we weren’t making shots, weren’t playing together and weren’t talking,” Seto said. “In our talk during halftime, we told ourselves that we need to pick it up and come together.”
On Friday, the Tritons faced Seattle Pacific, losing 66–63. Despite getting 18 points out of Perry and 17 points from Seto, UCSD couldn’t stop 6-foot-2-inch Seattle forward Katie Benson, who scored 26 points and nabbed nine rebounds.
“We were down from most of the game and fought our way back,” VanDerveer said to the UCSD Athletics Department. “We out-rebounded them but had too many turnovers. We did have an opportunity to win after coming back and I’m proud of our effort.”
This week, the Tritons will host the UCSD Thanksgiving Classic. On Friday, Nov. 29, UCSD will face Metro State at RIMAC Arena at 7:00 p.m. The following Saturday, the Tritons take on Azusa Pacific at 6:00 p.m.