SEASIDE, Calif. - Lauren Freidenberg
scored a career-high 27 points and Chelsea Carlisle
finished with 23, but it wasn't enough as the UC San Diego women's basketball team dropped a 92-91 double overtime decision to Cal State Monterey Bay in its California Collegiate Athletic Association opener on Friday night at the Otter Sports Complex.
The Tritons erased a 15-point second half deficit to force overtime, but the comeback effort ultimately came up short as the Otters' Michelle Santizo grabbed the rebound of her own missed free throw with seven seconds remaining in the second extra period to seal the win for the home team.
With the victory, CSUMB remains unbeaten on the season at 5-0 and improves to 2-0 in CCAA play. UCSD, which had won its previous three conference openers, falls to 2-6 overall. The Tritons, who posted a pair of blowout victories at RIMAC Arena last weekend, are still searching for their first win away from home.
Freidenberg was brilliant in a losing effort for UCSD, finishing 10-of-14 from the field and 7-of-9 at the free throw line to lead all scorers. She also finished with a game-high eight rebounds, two blocks and three steals. Her 27 points shattered her previous high of 17 that came in the Tritons' triple overtime loss to Grand Canyon during the season's opening weekend.
Carlisle was just 6-of-16 from the floor, but hit 8-of-10 at the line and dished seven assists. Emily Osga added 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go with five boards and three assists, while Daisy Feder chipped in with 11 points off the bench.
Santizo scored 19 points to lead five players in double figures for Monterey Bay, finishing 6-of-13 from the field and 4-of-7 from the three-point line. She scored 13 of her points in the second half and overtime. LaShawn Johnson finished with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while Shonetta Crain-Williams scored 16, Julie Heurung put in 13 and Erika Ward tallied 10.
The Tritons' defensive struggles continued against the Otters, as Monterey Bay shot 48% (36-75) from the field and 43% (9-21) from behind the arc. UCSD entered Friday's game with an opponents' shooting percentage of 47% through seven games - the highest figure in the league. The Tritons shot 47% (30-64) from the field.
UCSD trailed 61-46 with 12 minutes remaining in the second half but used a 7-0 run over the next 2:49 to cut the deficit to eight at 61-53. Freidenberg's jumper with 3:35 left brought the Tritons to within 69-65 and four straight free throws by Osga and Carlisle cut the deficit to just two, 71-69 with 1:10 to play.
UCSD had an opportunity to complete the comeback in regulation as Carlisle was fouled with two seconds left on the clock and CSUMB clinging to a 71-70 lead, but her first free throw missed the mark and the Tritons had to settle for overtime.
Santizo opened the first OT with a triple to put the Otters up 74-71, but the Tritons came back to take a 78-76 lead, as Feder dropped a three of her own with 2:21 left. UCSD pushed the margin to 81-78 following a pair of free throws from Feder, but Santizo hit a pair to bring CSUMB to within one with just 24 seconds to play.
Freidenberg was fouled on the ensuing play, but made just one of two at the line and Ward drained the tying jumper with three ticks left to tie the score and force a second overtime.
Monterey Bay led by as many as five (89-84) in double OT, but Carlisle hit her third three of the game and then knocked down a runner to tie the score at 89 with 2:07 remaining.
Santizo scored a big basket for the Otters on the other end and Carlisle and Elaina White each hit one of two free throws, knotting the game at 91 all with 59 seconds left, as the Tritons failed to take advantage of their opportunities at the charity stripe once again.
After Johnson was only able to convert one of two, Freidenberg's potential go-ahead layup rimmed out and the Tritons were forced to foul with just seven seconds to play. Santizo missed both, leaving the door open for UCSD, but she snared the long rebound of her second miss and CSUMB escaped with the 92-91 victory.
The Tritons were just 25-of-35 at the foul line, 71%, with nine misses coming in the second half and overtime.
UCSD led by as many as 11 points in the first half (23-12), but CSUMB rallied to take a 36-32 halftime lead.
The Tritons will look to rebound on Saturday night at San Francisco State. UCSD swept the season series with SFSU in 2009-10.