Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
The Tritons played well in the fourth quarter to defeat Western Washington on Friday.

Finishing Strong: Big Fourth Quarter Lifts No. RV Tritons Past Western Washington, 79-72

UC San Diego

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SEATTLE, Wash. — The No. RV University of California San Diego women’s basketball team raised its level of play in the second half on Friday afternoon to defeat Western Washington, 79-72, in the Sodexo Classic at Seattle Pacific's Brougham Pavilion.

With the score knotted 59-59 with five minutes remaining, UC San Diego (3-0) went on a 10-0 run to seize control down the stretch. 

Defense played a big factor in the final outcome, as the Tritons caused Western Washington (1-2) to commit 19 turnovers for the game.

“It was a gutsy win by our team,” said UC San Diego head coach Heidi VanDerveer. “In the second half, we made some tremendous plays and picked it up defensively. 

“We’re very good when we create opportunities off our defense.” 

Junior forward Mikayla Williams scored a team-high 20 points with 12 rebounds. Williams, the reigning California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Player of the Week, has now recorded at least 20 points in three-straight games to begin the season.

She had plenty of help, however. Freshman guard Brianna Claros scored 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while senior guard Joleen Yang added 13 points and freshman guard Julia Macabuhay finished with 13 points and five assists.

“I was very impressed with our young guards,” said VanDerveer. “They were on the attack creating for themselves and getting the ball inside.”

The two teams were knotted at halftime, 35-35, before UC San Diego took a five-point lead heading into the fourth. 

With the score tied 59-59 in the fourth quarter, Williams’ offensive rebound and bucket inside put the Tritons ahead by two. Consecutive baskets by Yang made it 66-59 with just over three minutes to play, and two Macabuhay free throws gave UC San Diego a 68-59 lead with 2:20 remaining.

Up next, the Tritons take on Seattle Pacific on Saturday beginning at 5 p.m., in a rematch of last season’s NCAA West Region semifinal.

About UC San Diego Athletics
With 30 national team championships, nearly 150 individual titles and the top student-athlete graduation rate among Division II institutions in the United States, the UC San Diego intercollegiate athletics program annually ranks as one of the most successful in the country.  The Tritons sponsor 23 intercollegiate sport programs that compete on the NCAA Division I and II levels and, in summer 2020, will transition into full Division I status as a member of the Big West Conference.  UC San Diego student-athletes exemplify the academic ideals of one of the world's preeminent institutions, graduating at an average rate of 91 percent.  A total of 80 Tritons have earned Academic All-America honors, while 36 have earned prestigious NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships.  In competition, more than 1,300 UC San Diego student-athletes have earned All-America honors.

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