LA JOLLA, Calif. - Six games into the 2012-13 season, the UC San Diego women's basketball team played its home opener on Friday, handily defeating Azusa Pacific, 79-48, to kickoff the UCSD Thanksgiving Classic at RIMAC Arena.
The Tritons improved to 2-4 on the season while the Cougars dropped to 0-4. In the tourney's opening game, the University of Tampa (5-0) defeated Cal State San Bernardino (1-1) by a score of 62-49.
No matter where UCSD senior guard Emily Osga shot the ball from on the court, it fell through the hoop. Osga led all scorers with 21 points, shooting a perfect 7-for-7 from the field, 3-for-3 from behind the three-point arc and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. The San Diego native also added six rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Also contributing solid numbers for the Tritons were senior guard Daisy Feder and junior forward Erin Dautremont. Feder scored 19 points, grabbed five rebounds, had five assists and stole the ball once. She drained four three-pointers. Dautremont ended the game with 13 points, three rebounds and an assist. Junior guard Megan Perry pulled down a game-high seven rebounds.
APU was led by junior forward Hannah Kenny with 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Consistent shooting prevailed for the Tritons, as they made more than half of their attempts in every shooting category. For the game, UCSD converted 28 of 55 (50.9%) from the floor, 10 of 17 (58.8%) from three-point range and 13 of 18 (72.2%) from the charity stripe. From those respective areas, the Cougars only made 18 of 50 (36.0%), 2 of 16 (12.5%) and 6 of 11 (54.5%).
After taking a 22-point lead into the second half, the Tritons expanded on it and never let it dip below 20 while keeping the Cougars' scoring stretches to a minimum.
In the final 20 minutes, the Tritons scored nine more points than the Cougars, 36-27, and never let APU score more than five points in a given stretch. In addition, UCSD scored eight straight points, half of which were drained by Dautremont on a layup and jumper, during a period lasting more than three minutes.
With 30 seconds left in the game, freshman center Taylor Hirz made the final point of the contest on a free throw to bring the Tritons to a 31-point cushion, their greatest of the night.
On their first possession of the game, the Tritons opened the scoring when Osga hit a jumper 38 seconds in. Kenny answered with a layup 21 seconds later, making the score, 2-2, which was the game's only tie.
Exactly a minute after UCSD scored its first points, Feder drilled the first of her four three-pointers to put UCSD up for good at 5-2.
Later in the opening half, the Tritons embarked on an 8-0 run when Osga buried a trey to give UCSD a 36-17 lead with 5:39 to go before halftime. The Tritons led by as many as 24 in the first half when the run was capped off by redshirt freshman center Emily Morris' free throw with 3:26 remaining to make the score 41-17. Morris concluded the game with five points, a rebound and a steal.
In the day's first game, Tampa's Moriah Hodge led all players with 16 points. Shamika Williams had 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds for the Spartans, while Illyssa Vivo finished with 10 points and seven assists. Cal State San Bernardino got 13 points from Alexcia Mack and 10 from Qorreah Joice. Adriana Brodie had seven rebounds for the Coyotes.
The UCSD Thanksgiving Classic concludes on Saturday. The 5 p.m. game will feature Azusa Pacific against Cal State San Bernardino, while UCSD takes on Tampa at 7 p.m.
-- UCSDtritons.com --