Photo by: Derrick Tuskan
Freshman Brianna Claros (left) and senior Joleen Yang led a late comeback attempt by the Tritons that fell just short on Saturday night.

Tritons' Magical Season Ends With West Region Semifinal Loss to Azusa Pacific, 64-61

UC San Diego

LA JOLLA, Calif. — The University of California San Diego women’s basketball team’s magical season came to an end on Saturday night, as the Tritons suffered their first loss of the season to Azusa Pacific, 64-61, in the NCAA West Region Semifinals at RIMAC Arena.

Junior forward Haleigh Hatfield led the way with 12 points and 14 rebounds, junior guard Sydney Sharp made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, senior guard Joleen Yang scored 11 points and was spectacular on the defensive end, while senior guard Kayla Sato finished with nine points and eight rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

After beginning the 2018-19 season the program’s best all-time record, UC San Diego (30-1) made a furious late come-back attempt that fell just short. The Tritons trailed by as many as 14 in the third quarter, but rallied to pull within two after consecutive 3-pointers by freshman Brianna Claros with under a minute remaining.

However, Azusa Pacific’s Daylee Hanson made a driving layup at the other end to push the led to four, 61-57 with 19.8 seconds to go. UC San Diego senior guard Joleen Yang made two free throws at the other end cutting the deficit to two, and APU’s Samantha Huddleston made two clutch free throws at the other end to make it a four-point game with just seconds remaining. 

One night after making 15 3-point field goals in a quarterfinal win over Dominican, the Tritons made 14 on Saturday — including all eight of its field goals in the first half.

UC San Diego won 30-consecutive games to begin the season, won the CCAA Tournament championship for the first time since 2012-13 and earned the conference regular-season title for the fourth-straight year.

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.

Follow The Tritons
For complete coverage and information regarding UC San Diego Athletics, follow the Tritons online at UCSDtritons.com and through social media on Twitter (@ucsdtritons), Instagram (@ucsdtritons) and Facebook (ucsdtritons). In addition, you can follow Tritons women's basketball on Twitter (@ucsdwbb) and Instagram (@ucsdwbb).

More From UCSD
W Basketball