LA JOLLA, Calif. -
With the close of the regular season looming, the UC San Diego women's basketball team used a consistently potent offense to defeat Sonoma State, 67-59, on Thursday at RIMAC Arena.
The Tritons improve to 19-9 overall and 17-4 in California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) play, tied with Chico State for first place in the league with one game remaining. Looking for its second straight CCAA regular season title, UCSD takes on San Francisco State (11-14, 8-13) Friday at 5:30 p.m. A win would ensure at least a share of the title for the Tritons. Chico State, which defeated Cal State East Bay, 59-56, on Thursday, concludes its regular season at Cal State Monterey Bay Friday.
Senior guard Daisy Feder once again proved her versatility against the Seawolves. The Santa Monica native scored a game-high 22 points while contributing five rebounds, four assists, one block and a steal. Right behind Feder was senior guard Emily Osga with her 18 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Junior forward Erin Dautremont hauled in a game-high 10 rebounds for UCSD.
Setting the pace for the Seawolves with 11 points each were senior guards Taylor Vigil and Alysa Ito. Vigil also had a team-high five rebounds, two assists and a steal, while Ito put up three rebounds, four assists and a steal.
Though both teams went 11-for-23 (47.8%) from the field in the second half, UCSD's first-half performance made the difference. The Tritons made 14 of 30 (46.7%) in the opening stanza compared to the 10-for-28 (35.7%) effort of the Seawolves. For the game, UCSD turned in a 25-for-53 (47.2%) performance, whereas SSU finished with a 21-for-51 (41.2%) showing.
Ahead by five, 32-27, at the start of the second half, UCSD maintained a single-digit lead over the Seawolves but never let SSU retake the lead in the early minutes of the closing frame.
The Seawolves made it interesting by cutting UCSD's lead to two, 45-43, at the end of a 6-0 run that was capped by freshman forward/center Molly Kommer's layup at the 11:36 mark. However, a layup by sophomore forward McKennan Bertsch and a trey by Osga grew the lead back to a seven-point, 50-43 advantage with 10:13 left in the game.
A three-pointer by junior guard Megan Perry with 3:33 remaining in regulation gave UCSD a 61-52 lead and a layup by Feder increased the difference to a game-high 11-point span, 67-56, with only eight seconds to play.
UCSD began the game with confidence, opening the contest with a 7-0 run that finished with Dautremont's jumper with 18:14 to go in the first half. The Seawolves started making their shots though and went on a 10-0 run, concluded on Vigil's layup at the 12:07 mark, to take an 18-14 lead.
Possession of the lead changed hands three more times in a span of nearly five minutes, but after Ito tied then put the Seawolves ahead at the free-throw line, 20-19, with 7:58 left, Dautremont hit a jumper at the 7:12 reading to return the lead back to UCSD, 21-20, and the Tritons kept it for the rest of the game.
To ensure the lead would not be lost, the Tritons went on a 6-0 run, which included back-to-back layups from Feder and a layup from Osga, who capped the run with 1:50 before halftime while bringing the Tritons to an eight-point cushion of 32-24, their largest of the first half.
The Seawolves (9-16, 7-14), who were eliminated from postseason play with tonight's loss, travel to Cal State San Bernardino Friday.
Friday will be Senior Night for the Tritons as Feder, Osga and Erin Grady will be playing in the final regular season game of their careers. The first 1,000 fans will receive pom-poms and an iPad Mini will be given away at halftime. There will be a free tailgate between the women's and men's games followed by a fireworks show after the men's contest.
-- UCSDtritons.com --