AZUSA, Calif. - McKennan Bertsch recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead the UC San Diego women's basketball team to a come-from-behind 72-66 overtime win against 13th-ranked Western Washington Saturday in West Region Crossover Classic action at Azusa Pacific's Felix Event Center.
UCSD improved to 2-1 with the victory, while WWU fell to 1-3.
The Tritons mounted a major comeback in the second half. Already down by 13 points (32-19) coming out of halftime, it briefly got worse as WWU's Katie Colard drained a three-pointer to open the second stanza, putting the Vikings up by 16 at 35-19. However, things changed quickly as UCSD scored the game's next 20 points between the 18:14 and 11:47 marks. Erin Dautremont started the run with a layup and Dana Webster's bucket to close out the spree had the Tritons in front by a score of 39-35.
The Vikings regained the lead and were up by seven, 53-46, with 6:25 left in the game. Coming back once again, Miranda Seto hit a three and a Bertsch jumper brought UCSD within two points at 53-51. WWU scored a basket to make it 55-51 with just under three minutes left in regulation, but Seto came up huge for the Tritons in the waning minutes. A steal and two layups by the guard evened the score at 55-55 and sent the game into overtime.
Stephanie Yano opened the extra period by making a jumper and the Tritons would not trail again. With 20 seconds remaining and UCSD up by three at 69-66, Yano was fouled twice and made three of four free throws to ice the victory.
The cliché "tale of two halves" was extremely fitting today. UCSD shot a measly 23.1 percent in the first half, making only six of 26 shots from the field. That number was upped to 48.1 percent in the second half as the Tritons canned 13 of their 27 attempts. They made five of six shots in the overtime period.
"In the first half, we shot poorly and we were totally out of sync," said UCSD head coach Heidi VanDerveer. "We regrouped at halftime and showed tremendous character the rest of the way. Our upperclassmen really took it upon themselves to compete at a high level. We had plenty of chances to give in and we didn't, so it was a very exciting game and an excellent win for our team."
UC San Diego out-rebounded Western Washington, 50 to 37. Both teams were sloppy at times, with the Tritons committing 21 turnovers and the Vikings 20.
A majority of Bertsch's points came at the free throw line, as she was 8-for-12. Her 13 rebounds were a career-high. Seto finished with a game-high 16 points, Megan Perry had 11 and Yano totaled 10 to go along with five assists. Dautremont grabbed 10 rebounds in the victory.
Four Vikings had 10 or more points, including Taylor Peacocke (14), Jenni White (13), Tia Briggs (10) and Colard (10). Kiana Gandy pulled down a team-high eight boards.
UCSD hosts its annual Thanksgiving Classic on Friday, Nov. 29, and Saturday, Nov. 30. The Tritons take on Metro State Friday (7 p.m.) and Azusa Pacific Saturday (6 p.m.). Cal State San Bernardino will also take part in the four-team tournament.