LA JOLLA, Calif. - Sophomore guard Emily Osga scored a game-high 22 points to lead the surging UC San Diego women's basketball team to a comfortable 74-45 triumph over visiting Cal State Dominguez Hills on Saturday evening at RIMAC Arena.
The Toros opened the game with a three-pointer from Hillarie Grant, but the Tritons scored the next 10 points and never looked back, cruising to their sixth consecutive victory. UCSD outscored CSUDH 46-23 in the opening period, draining 10 first half threes to build an insurmountable lead.
With the win, UCSD improves to 10-7 overall and 8-2 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play, remaining two games behind league leader Cal State Monterey Bay. The Tritons have won eight of their last nine overall and taken the last 14 meetings with the Toros.
Cal State Dominguez Hills falls to 2-12 overall and 2-7 in the CCAA. The Toros had won two of three entering Saturday's game.
Osga had one of the best shooting nights of her young career, finishing 8-of-11 from the field and 6-for-7 from the three-point line. She was perfect 5-for-5 from the behind the arc in the first half, tallying 19 points in 17 first half minutes.
The Patrick Henry High School product was the only player to reach double figures in scoring for the Tritons, with Chelsea Carlisle, Erin Grady and Erin Dautremont all finishing with eight in limited action. Carlisle dished out a game-high six assists and finished with three steals.
Meghan Duron scored nine points of the bench to lead Dominguez, while Grant finished with eight.
While the Triton offense was doing its thing - UCSD shot 49% from the field - the defense was outstanding as well, limiting the Toros to just 45 points on 44% shooting. UCSD won the battle on the glass, 34-22, and forced a total of 27 turnovers.
"We talked about coming out and playing a complete 40 minutes tonight and we did that," head coach Charity Elliott said. "I thought our defense played really well and that was something we have been working on, so it was a great effort on both sides of the ball."
UCSD scored 10 of the game's first 13 points, with Osga accounting for eight, including a pair of threes. CSUDH answered with nine straight points to pull to within 13-12, but Carlisle followed with a triple, Dautremont scored on a breakaway and Osga connected from outside again to put the Tritons in front 21-12 with 11:47 left in the half.
UCSD scored 12 consecutive points later in the period to push the margin to 22 at 38-16 and Osga's fifth three of the half made it 46-21 with less than two minutes remaining.
The Tritons shot 55% in the period, converting 17-of-31 shots from the field, and drained 10-of-20 from the three-point line to easily combat the Toros' zone defense. UCSD scored 27 points off 17 CSUDH turnovers in the half.
The Tritons extended their lead to 28 at 56-28 following a jumper by Grady and another Osga three less than four minutes into the second half and Dautremont's layup with 12 minutes left gave UCSD its biggest advantage at 62-33.
The Tritons will conclude their four-game homestand next week when Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly Pomona come to town January 20 and 22.
"We're playing really well right now and we're going to try to keep rolling," Osga said.