LA JOLLA, Calif. - Junior guard Kayla Sato scored a career-high 20 points Friday to lead the University of California San Diego women’s basketball team over California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) opponent Cal State Monterey Bay, 76-58.
Winning its third-straight CCAA game, UC San Diego improves to 3-0 in the conference and 7-2 overall. CSUMB falls to 3-7 on the season and 2-5 in CCAA play.
Sato tallied her career-best after shooting 50 percent (7-14) from the field and 62.5 percent (5-8) from long range. She also had two steals and a block. Sophomore Mikayla Williams notched 11 points, eight rebounds and a game- and career-high seven assists, while senior Taylor Tanita, junior Marcella Hughes, junior Joleen Yang and junior Sydney Sharp had eight apiece.
As a team, UCSD shot 45.2 percent (28-62) overall while holding the visitors to 34.5 percent (20-58). From behind the arc, the Tritons shot 44.8 percent (13-29).
UCSD made back-to-back three-pointers in the first frame to gain a lead it would not relinquish. Hughes netted eight points in the quarter, including a jumper that gave the Tritons a six-point lead, 18-12, with three minutes showing on the clock.
In the second quarter, UCSD outscored CSUMB, 21-17, after Sato and Tanita tallied six points each. The Tritons opened up the second on a 10-point run, giving them a 16-point lead, 32-16. The Otters closed the gap, scoring four unanswered points in the final two minutes, making it a 12-point game at the half.
UCSD held a 33-27 advantage in the second half to secure the win. Sato tallied nine points in the fourth quarter, going a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc, while Yang added two three-pointers in the third quarter. The Tritons gained their largest lead of the game, 73-54, with 2:38 remaining in the fourth.
Courtney Keaton led the Otters with 12 points and nine rebounds. Aubri Smith and Brianna Tucker had 10 and 9 points, respectively.
UC San Diego will take a short break from competition before hitting the road to face CCAA opponent Cal State LA Sunday, Dec. 17 at 5:30 p.m.