In its first exhibition match of the preseason, the UCSD women’s basketball team fell to Division-I opponent No. 6 Stanford 74–51 on Saturday in Palo Alto. Head coaches and sisters Heidi VanDerveer of UCSD and Tara VanDerveer of Stanford met in competition for the first time as head coaches.
Heidi Vanderveer is 11 years younger than her Hall of Fame sister and longtime Stanford head coach Tara. Both have coached extensively for years, but Saturday afternoon was the first head-to-head matchup between the two.
“It was a great experience,” Heidi Vanderveer told the UCSD Guardian. “It was a lot of fun — a really good experience.”
Senior guard Miranda Seto had a spectacular day, scoring a game-high 24 points on 64.3 percent shooting from the floor and 80 percent from three-point range. Junior forward Farrah Shokoor tallied six points with seven rebounds, while sophomore guard Beth Mounier contributed nine points and three rebounds. Redshirt freshman guard Taylor Tanita racked up five points and a game-high five assists in the loss.
While national powerhouse Stanford commanded a lead throughout, UCSD came within three points of a tie late in the second half in a 10–0 run.
“We hit shots,” Vanderveer said. “We handled their pressure. We only had four turnovers in the first half. Miranda Seto obviously hit big shots. They didn’t shoot very well; our defense kept them from getting the easy shots.”
Even with the late-game heroics, the Tritons failed to produce defensively and Stanford responded with a punishing 27–7 run to end the game. Stanford had a distinct advantage in the paint with its larger size and outscored the Tritons 22-12.
“They’re big,” Vanderveer said. “They’re strong and they’re athletic. I think that we’re strong and athletic. We’re just not as big as they are.”
The Cardinal was led offensively by sophomore forward Erica McCall with 18 points and senior forward Taylor Greenfield with 16 points.
The Tritons retained three starters from last year’s 16–11 team in senior guard Miranda Seto, California Collegiate Athletic Association First Team Honoree, and fellow senior guard Stephanie Yano and senior forward McKennan Bertsch. Yano led the Tritons in assists last year, averaging 3.1 assists per game while Bertsch finished 2013 with a .640 field goal percentage.
There are six new members of the UCSD squad, including freshman guard Paige Song, freshman forward Gigi Olelewe and freshman guard Abriana Conklin. Transfer additions include sophomore guard Beth Mounier from Weber State University, junior guard Jamie Katuna from University of San Francisco and Shokoor from San Francisco State University.
UCSD begins regular season play this Saturday, Nov. 15 against University of Mary at the California State University, San Bernardino in the 2014 Tip-Off Classic. The game will begin at 2 p.m.