LA JOLLA, Calif. - Eisha Sheppard scored the go-ahead basket with 3.4 seconds remaining to lift visiting Cal State San Bernardino to a 60-58 victory over UC San Diego in a tightly contested matchup on Thursday evening at RIMAC Arena.
UCSD held a four-point advantage with two and a half minutes remaining, but the Coyotes were able to capitalize on a pair of huge Triton turnovers and pull out the win.
Cal State San Bernardino improves to 12-2 overall and 8-2 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play, bouncing back after losing an 81-72 decision at Cal Poly Pomona in a battle for second place in the league standings on Tuesday night.
UCSD, which saw its six-game winning streak come to an end, falls to 10-8 overall and 8-3 in the CCAA. The loss was the Tritons' second at home this season after falling to rival Humboldt State, 92-88, in double overtime on December 19.
Sheppard scored a game-high 16 points to pace the Coyotes, finishing 8-of-17 from the floor. She also finished with six rebounds, two assists, three blocks and three steals. Sabrina Gonzalez added 13 points, while Jessica Dela Cruz scored 12 off the bench.
Chelsea Carlisle had a rough shooting night for the Tritons, but still managed to score 15 points to lead the team. She also contributed four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Erin Grady tallied 13 points and four rebounds.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, as CSUSB finished at just under 41% from the field and UCSD shot 38.5%. Both teams scored 26 points in the paint and each squad brought down 35 rebounds in a very evenly-played game.
The Tritons held a 56-52 lead following two free throws from Carlisle with 2:25 on the clock, but Kym Ooten answered with back-to-back baskets for the Coyotes to tie the game with 1:50 remaining.
Gonzalez came up with a huge steal on UCSD's next possession and dribbled down for the score to put the visitors on top by two, but Daisy Feder followed with two clutch free throws a minute later to knot the game at 58 with 29 ticks left.
After a CSUSB timeout, Sheppard got to the rim on an isolation play and scored the winning basket with less than four ticks on the clock. The Tritons had one last chance, but Carlisle's desperation three at the buzzer came up short.
The Tritons trailed by six early in the first half, but rallied back to lead 30-24 on a three by Feder with 2:45 left in the period. UCSD led 34-28 following a pair of free throws from Emily Osga, but back-to-back baskets by Gonzalez and Sheppard brought the visitors to within two at the break.
UCSD fell behind by five (46-41) seven minutes into the second half, but consecutive layups by Lauren Freidenberg and Carlisle brought the Tritons to within a point with 10:17 left. CSUSB led 50-49 with 6:16 remaining, but Grady hit a baseline jumper and Megan Perry drilled a three to put UCSD in front, 54-50 with 4:19 on the clock.
The Tritons led by the same margin two minutes later, before the Coyotes' answered with the 6-0 run to assume control.
UCSD will look to bounce back against Cal Poly Pomona on Saturday night at RIMAC. The Broncos defeated Cal State East Bay, 59-41, on Thursday in Hayward.