Continuing its dominant run from 2019 into conference play, the UC San Diego women’s basketball team squared off against California Collegiate Athletic Association rival California State University, San Bernardino. The UCSD Tritons beat out the CSUSB Coyotes 63–50, extending their win streak to five games. With the win, UCSD improved its overall record to 13–4 and conference record to 9–3.
The Tritons were able to dominate in the first quarter, outscoring CSUSB 24–12. Despite a few surges by the Coyotes, UCSD was able to hold off CSUSB, maintaining their lead for the entire game. The Tritons were led by a strong all-around performance by starting sophomore guard Julia Macabuhay. Macabuhay put up 16 points, with 2 three-pointers, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals.
Coming into the matchup, head coach Heidi VanDerveer said the Triton’s game plan focused on shutting down the Coyote’s offense and playing fast. “[San Bernardino] has three primary scorers, so we were trying to be matched up on them and then really help off of a couple [of] other people on the floor to have our defense solid and then really work our defense to rebounding, to get out of transition,” she said. “We got out of transition in some and I thought we were successful.”
Despite the boxscore, VanDerveer was not entirely satisfied by her team’s performance. “We did not execute as well as I think we could have against their zone,” she said. “We missed some shots that I feel were very makeable for us. But overall, I feel like we understood what we need to do and we just need to do it maybe a little more consistently.”
Another factor to the Tritons win was their depth. UCSD was able to get key contributions from players outside of their starters. In her 16 minutes on the court, senior forward Stephanie Moore scored 9 points and had 8 rebounds. Junior forward Isabelle Parker also had a solid night. The 6’2” Australian expat put her height and length to good use, collecting 3 rebounds and playing strong defense in the paint.
VanDerveer expressed a lot of confidence in the ability of the team’s bench. “We probably can play ten people and I feel like the production comes different from different people different nights,” she said. “If it’s your time to step out and you have an opportunity to make other people look good, it makes you look good as well.”
Late in the third quarter, starting sophomore guard Brianna Claros went down with an injury and left the game. The Triton’s training staff was seen working on Claros’s left leg. However, Claros was back on the court for the start of the fourth quarter, so it seems like the injury was not significant.
Next week, UCSD is heading to northern California to play two conference rivals: San Francisco State University and Sonoma State University.