LA JOLLA, Calif. - Returning to RIMAC Arena for the final homestand of the regular season, the UC San Diego women's basketball team rallied late in its game against Cal State East Bay but fell short in the form of a 59-44 loss to the Pioneers to snap a nine-game winning streak on Friday.
The Tritons are 17-9 overall and fall to second place in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) at 15-4. They will host third-place Cal State Monterey Bay (17-5, 14-5 CCAA) in a contest slated for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off on Saturday.
Junior forward Erin Dautremont led the Tritons with a game co-high 14 points. The West Hills native also had a game-leading nine rebounds, one assist and a block. Senior guard Daisy Feder scored 20 points and had five rebounds, three assists, one block and two steals.
Matching Dautremont's 14-point count to lead the Pioneers was senior forward Marlene MacMillan, who also contributed a team-high seven rebounds, three assists, one block and two steals. MacMillan was supported by senior forward Lauren Lucchesi, with her 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks, and junior forward Brianna Terrance, with her 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
East Bay outperformed the Tritons in every shooting area on the court, especially at the free-throw line. The Tritons went 4-for-9 (44.4%) for the game, while the Pioneers made 14 of 22 (63.6%). From the paint, the Tritons finished with an 18-for-53 (34.0%) effort, making two fewer shots than the Pioneers in their 20-for-49 (40.8%) performance.
Already down at the half, 23-13, the Tritons endured a 6-0 run from the Pioneers on account of back-to-back three-pointers from Lucchesi. The latter three-pointer occurred with 13:13 left in the game and put Cal State East Bay up by a score of 39-23.
UCSD's deficit grew as high as 20 with 5:25 remaining in regulation when Terrance made a layup to give the Pioneers a 51-31 lead. The Tritons then scored five unanswered points with a pair of free throws from Feder and a trey from senior guard Emily Osga. The three-pointer from Osga occurred at the 4:34 mark.
Dautremont cut the amount the Tritons trailed by to 10 upon hitting a jumper with 2:11 to go in the game, but the Pioneers returned the lead to 15, scoring their last five points of the game at the free-throw line.
Though the offenses of both teams came alive in the second half, defense took precedent in the first half. UCSD and CSUEB battled back and forth for control of the lead in the first half in a 20-minute span containing two ties and seven lead changes.
A layup by sophomore forward McKennan Bertsch gave the Tritons a one-point, 11-10 advantage with 11:06 to spare before halftime. A jumper by Lucchesi not only gave the lead back to the Pioneers, 12-11, at the 9:48 mark, but it also signified the start of an 11-0 run for CSUEB.
UCSD finished the first half with a season-low 13 points, nine points fewer than the previous low of 22 points.
The Pioneers, who have won eight straight and remain in fourth place, improve to 14-9 overall and 12-7 in CCAA games. CSUEB will travel to seventh-place Cal State San Bernardino (11-12, 9-10 CCAA) for a game on Saturday slated for a 5:30 p.m. start time.
-- UCSDtritons.com --