Women’s Win Streak at Five

Photo Used With Permission From UCSD Athletics
Photo Used With Permission From UCSD Athletics
Photo Used With Permission From UCSD Athletics
Photo Used With Permission From UCSD Athletics

This weekend’s doubleheader was a successful one for the Tritons as they defeated Sonoma State 69–59 on Friday and moved on to trounce San Francisco State 94–61 on Saturday. UCSD is now on a five-game winning streak, all in conference play, and stand at 8–5 overall and 6–2 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

Defense took over in the opening minutes of Friday night’s game. Both UCSD and Sonoma State started off cold from the field, but the Tritons slowly built a 16–12 lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half. 

Despite playing without starters in senior guard Miranda Seto and sophomore guard Haley Anderson, the Tritons’ second unit proceeded to come in and show UCSD’s depth. With senior center Dana Webster (15 points, 10 rebounds) and sophomore guard Beth Mounier (10 points) leading the charge, the Tritons continued to build up their lead to enter halftime with a 35–21 edge. 

“We have quality depth, and with two starters out, we had people stepping up,” UCSD head coach Heidi VanDerveer said. “We have people that can step in every night, and we are priding ourselves in getting defensive stops and aggressive rebounding. It’s just defensive discipline, and everybody can play defense.”

UCSD did not let off the pressure coming back from the locker rooms. Rapid-fire points from junior forward Farrah Shokoor and sophomore forward Cassie MacLeod pushed the lead to 24 at 52–28 with 14 minutes remaining. Five minutes later, the Tritons would put the game out of reach with an even bigger 62–34 lead. The last nine minutes saw a late surge by Sonoma State, who cut the lead to nine but could not overcome the severe deficit as UCSD cruised to a victory.

“We were a little concerned about missing two of our starting players, but for the most part we knew that we all had to step up,” Webster said. “It feels good to know that, defensively, I was there and ready to help my teammates. We are a lot more together, we found our rhythm just getting our shots down and playing defense.”

Shokoor finished with yet another double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds), and MacLeod had 12 points of her own to cap off a complete team performance.

Next, UCSD put on a clinic on Saturday and pummeled San Francisco State 94–61. The Tritons made 66.7 percent of their shots and outrebounded San Francisco State 47–17.

UCSD went up quickly 14–9 and built on that lead for the rest of the game. With a stunning display on offense, the Tritons shot 21 of 32 in the first half and, led by Shokoor and MacLeod, went into halftime with a 50–33 lead. 

The Tritons never looked back in the second half as the lead continued to increase, even going as high as 37. VanDerveer emptied her bench in the final minutes as UCSD controlled the last 10 minutes of play.

Shokoor had a game-high 20 points and 15 rebounds, adding another double-double to her outstanding season. Mounier (16 points), MacLeod (17 points) and senior forward McKennan Bertsch (10 points) all hit double figures.

“We definitely had a tough preseason, and we had a shaky start,” senior guard Stephanie Yano said. “People from the bench are really stepping up. But we are not peaking right now, and we have a lot more potential to fulfill.”

UCSD’s well-rounded squad appears to truly be hitting their stride, as the dominance of this weekend appears only more promising considering the absence of starters Seto and Anderson. 

With the pair of wins, the Tritons take sole possession of fourth place in league standings but can easily move up in the CCAA rankings with next weekend’s slate of games.

UCSD will now return to the road in hopes of extending the winning streak as it takes on Cal State Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 16, at 5:30 p.m. and Cal State Dominguez Hills the following day at 5:30 p.m., as well. 

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