AZUSA, Calif. - The 23rd-ranked and No. 3-seeded University of California San Diego women’s basketball team lost an incredible back-and-forth game to No. 7-seed Montana State University Billings, 75-73, in the NCAA Division II West Region semifinals on Saturday night at Felix Event Center on the campus of host Azusa Pacific University.
Senior forward Dalayna Sampton saved a career-best performance for her final game in a Triton uniform, finishing with 30 points and 11 rebounds, while sophomore Sydney Sharp scored 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting off the bench and junior Kayla Sato added 10 points with six rebounds.
Montana State Billings guard Rylee Kane scored a game-high 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting, while forward Alisha Breen did most of her damage in the first half, recording 27 points with seven rebounds. She broke single-season and career Great Northwest Athletic Conference scoring records on the night.
UC San Diego (28-5) trailed by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, but rallied to take a three-point advantage with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
But Montana State Billings (24-11) had an answer every time the Tritons appeared to seize control, scoring four straight crucial points down the stretch to take a late lead it never relinquished.
The game featured 10 lead changes and the score was tied on five separate occasions. Both teams shot 44 percent from the field, while UC San Diego outrebounded MSUB, 48-31, behind sophomore forward Mikayla Williams’ game-high 15 boards. That margin included a 15-0 advantage on the offensive glass.
NCAA Division II West Region All-Tournament Team
MVP: Rylee Kane, MSU Billings
Dalayna Sampton, F, UC San Diego
Alisha Breen, F, MSU Billings
Rylee Kane, G, MSU Billings
Hanna Wandersee, C, Alaska Anchorage
Yazmen Goo, G, Alaska Anchorage