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The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

The Student News Site of University of California - San Diego

The UCSD Guardian

Tritons’ three game win streak ended by Mustangs

UC San Diego Women’s Basketball (7–8, 3–1 Big West) hosted the Cal Poly Mustangs (7–8, 3–2 Big West) on Saturday afternoon at LionTree Arena. After a 15-point win over Long Beach State on Thursday night, UCSD looked to extend its winning streak to four games against Cal Poly. The Tritons won convincingly in both matchups against the Mustangs last season, but Cal Poly entered Saturday night primed for tipoff.

 

Despite an enthralling pregame entrance courtesy of the UCSD band, the Tritons found themselves in an early 5–0 deficit. Cal Poly came out in a full-court press and maintained it for the entirety of the game. UCSD, meanwhile, stumbled out of the gates and did not score its first basket until 7:12 left in the first quarter. 

 

After a languid start, the Tritons found momentum thanks to graduate student guard Denali Pinto’s effort on the defensive end. Pinto jumped a pass, dribbled the length of the floor, spun her defender, and nearly finished the highlight reel play. Fortunately, junior guard Izzy Forsyth awaited the rebound and finished the layup. Pinto’s effort on that play provided the impetus for UCSD’s 6–0 run to take the lead in the first quarter. 

 

However, the Mustangs regrouped and conjured up a 9–0 run of their own. Cal Poly led 14–6 at the end of the first, largely thanks to their 42.9% shooting from the field compared to UCSD’s 14.3% effort.

 

The second quarter was a microcosm of the game: a tale of two teams at the free-throw line. UCSD shot a woeful 1–4 (25%) from the stripe in the second quarter, while Cal Poly shot 10-10 (100%). After their second straight slow start to a quarter, UCSD recouped. Pinto drilled two three-point shots and senior guard Parker Montgomery another to cut Cal Poly’s lead to seven. However, Cal Poly’s free throw excellence and UCSD’s lack thereof factored heavily into the Mustangs’ 30–20 lead at the half.

 

Coach Heidi VanDerveer galvanized the Tritons at halftime, who flipped the switch to begin the third quarter. 

 

Cal Poly scored just one point in the first 4:15 of the second half, and UCSD chipped away at the lead. The Tritons narrowed the Mustangs’ lead to 37–33 in the third quarter by way of their defense. Cal Poly shot just 3–11 (27.3%) from the field and 0–3 (0%) from three-point range in the third, while UCSD shot 4–9 (44.4%) and 1–2 (50%) from three. Unfortunately, UCSD continued its woes at the free-throw line, shooting a dreadful 4–7 (57.1%) at the charity stripe.

 

At 5:56 in the fourth quarter, UCSD entered the bonus for the fourth straight time. The Tritons began the fourth 0–4 from the field, but Cal Poly managed to shoot even worse, at 0–6. UCSD brought the crowd back into the game with two free throws, tying the affair at 37 each. Unfortunately, UCSD’s turnaround performance at the free-throw line was not enough to fend off the Mustangs. With 0:30 left in the game, Cal Poly broke the Tritons’ press defense and scored a layup to seal the game. In a gritty, intense battle, the Mustangs ultimately won the game, 49-39.

 

Cal Poly put the Tritons in the bonus at the end of each quarter, but it did not matter in the end. UCSD missed far too many free throws to substantiate the Mustangs’ carelessness, and they must come to terms with that if they want to turn their performances around.

 

The Tritons will look to right the ship on Thursday, hoping to embark on a new winning streak against last year’s Big West Championship runner-up, UC Irvine, at LionTree Arena.

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About the Contributors
Wyatt Bose, Staff Writer
Wyatt is a first-year political science student, an ardent sports-watcher, an impassioned Philadelphia sports fan, and the founder of his sports blog, "The Cogent Column."
Thomas Murphy, Co-Webmaster & Photographer
I work on the website and take-a the pretty pictures
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