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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

Horizon 2024
Thomas Murphy, Co-Webmaster & Photographer • Feb 20, 2024

Tritons turnovers at the forefront in loss to UC Irvine

On Blue & Gold Night at LionTree Arena, UC San Diego women’s basketball (7–10, 3–3 Big West) took on UC Irvine (10–6, 4–2 Big West), looking to better their 1–6 all-time record against the Anteaters. However, this team has the Triton’s number, and in this game they were able to do it again, ultimately winning 57–48. The Tritons started the game off well by taking the lead going into halftime. Yet, the second half was a disaster on the offensive end. The Tritons dealt with turnover problems throughout the game, but their inability to score in the second half to make up for losing the turnover battle led to their downfall. 

 

The first quarter started out competitively between both teams. The standout player at the start of this game was freshman guard Sumayah Sugapong, who scored the Tritons’ first 7 points and ended up with 19 points in the game. The Tritons were able to build a 14–11 lead by the end of the quarter, but there were signs of worry; despite being down, UC Irvine’s full-court press was causing the Tritons a lot of problems.

 

The Tritons found their offensive rhythm in the middle of the second quarter, as a 3 from graduate student guard Denali Pinto would push the lead to 21–13. The Tritons would continue to dominate in the second, shooting 66% from the field and 75% from 3. With 2:35 left in the second quarter, the Tritons pushed the lead to 11, as a layup from junior center Emma Svoboda made it 30–19. UC Irvine was able to cut the lead to 7 at the end of the second quarter, but the Tritons’ great first half ensured a 33–26 lead heading into the third quarter.

 

However, the third quarter was a disaster for the Tritons for numerous reasons. The full-court press that UC Irvine employed worked wonders, causing the Tritons to have 8 turnovers in the quarter. The Tritons suddenly couldn’t make a bucket in the third, shooting 27% from the field. UC Irvine was able to claw their way back into the game, keeping the Tritons to only 6 points in the whole third quarter. The quarter would end with the Anteaters taking a 5-point lead off of a steal that led to a made jumpshot with 2 seconds left. The Tritons would need to have a strong fourth quarter to bounce back, down by a 5-point deficit at 44–39.

 

The fourth quarter was a tough battle for the Tritons; persistent turnovers disrupted any attempted Triton comeback. With 7:17 seconds left in the fourth, UC Irvine laid the ball in to push the score to 50-39. The Tritons were forced to call a timeout and rejuvenate themselves if they wanted a chance to come back. This timeout ended up helping, as the Tritons would bring the game within 4 points off of a clutch 3-point shot from Sugapong. However, it was a two-score game for only 5 seconds; UC Irvine immediately went down the court, scoring a 3-pointer of their own to push the lead to 7 with 4 minutes left. The Tritons would fail to score until 1:21 was left on the game clock and wouldn’t come close to taking the lead again,  as UC Irvine closed out the game, 57–48.

 

UCSD would lose once again to UC Irvine, with turnovers being the main culprit. The Tritons finished with a staggering 31 turnovers compared to UC Irvine’s 17. After the game, The UCSD Guardian spoke with coach Heidi VanDerveer on the Tritons’ difficulty facing the Anteaters’ full-court press.

 

“We tried to run a lot of different things, we tried to put people in different spots…their experience at the guard spot and their athleticism really bothered us,” VanDerveer said. “We’ll come back and be better Saturday.” 

 

The Tritons will look to reverse a 3-game losing streak on the road against UC Riverside on Thursday. They then return home to play UC Davis on Saturday, Jan. 27.

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About the Contributors
Jake Lannon, Senior Staff Writer
4th year Communications major. Looking to work professionally in the field of sports media in the future and you should all read my articles no matter what.
Thomas Murphy, Co-Webmaster & Photographer
I work on the website and take-a the pretty pictures
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