LA JOLLA, Calif. — The Tritons weren’t in the mood for another dramatic ending.
The University of California San Diego women’s basketball team played one of its best games of the season on Saturday night, defeating Chico State, 84-48, at RIMAC Arena.
The Tritons improved to a perfect 9-0 in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play (13-2 overall), and defeated the No. 2 and No.4-ranked teams in the conference standings on consecutive nights.
UC San Diego knocked off second-place Humboldt State by one point on Friday night, and showed no sign of fatigue against Chico State (8-6, 6-4 CCAA). Saturday’s 36-point win was UCSD’s largest margin of victory since defeating San Francisco State by 59 points on Jan. 7, 2016.
“We just came out with a defensive mindset,” said sophomore Mikayla Williams. “Whatever we get done on the defensive end carries over for our team offensively.”
Senior Dalayna Sampton led all scorers with 15 points, Williams posted her seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds, and junior Joleen Yang added 13 points. Senior guard Taylor Tanita recorded eight assists with just one turnover, junior Kayla Sato finished with eight points, six rebounds and five assists, while junior forward Rebecca Williams tallied nine points, four rebounds and five assists.
Sophomore Kristen Vrcelj pitched in as well, recording her first-career points on a 3-pointer in the second half.
The Tritons were sharp from the start and raced out to an impressive 30-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. Yang’s 3-pointer and driving layup ignited an 11-0 run to push the lead to 18-4, and junior Marcella Hughes’ three made it 21-6 with 2:32 left in the first. Three consecutive 3-pointers by sophomore Sydney Sharp in the span of one minute extended UC San Diego’s lead to 30-8 with 1:13 left in the period.
The Tritons shot 54 percent for the game, including a blistering 62 percent in the first half, while knocking down 10-of-23 3-point attempts. Meanwhile, UC San Diego held Chico State to 30.9 percent shooting from the field, which is the seventh-consecutive game UCSD has held its opponent under 40 percent shooting.
Next up for the Tritons is a road trip to Northern California, where UC San Diego will take on Cal State Monterey Bay on Jan. 11, followed by Cal State East Bay on Jan. 13.