LA JOLLA, Calif. -
The UC San Diego women's basketball team withstood a late San Francisco State rally and escaped with a 59-52 triumph in a low scoring affair on Thursday evening at RIMAC Arena.
UCSD was in control from the opening tip and led by as many as 21, before the Gators closed to within seven points with less than two minutes to play.
Three players scored in double figures for the Tritons, who recorded 17 assists on 20 field goals in the game. Chelsea Carlisle
finished with 15 points and eight assists, while Lauren Freidenberg
tallied 11 points, two rebounds and two assists. Daisy Feder
added 10 points off the bench.
With the win, UCSD improves to 13-9 overall and 11-4 in California Collegiate Athletic Association play heading into Saturday's showdown with first place Cal State Monterey Bay. The Tritons have won three straight and nine of their last 11 overall to stay within three games of the league-leading Otters.
Monterey Bay defeated Cal State East Bay, 52-21, on Thursday evening in Hayward.
San Francisco State falls to 1-18 overall and 1-13 in conference play following its 15th consecutive defeat. Dominique Hunter led all scorers with 18 points and grabbed seven boards for the Gators, while Sherika Miller finished with 15.
UCSD shot just 38.5% from the field but took advantage of 25 Gator turnovers, scoring 14 points at the other end. SFSU shot just under 42% for the game and held a 35-30 edge on the glass. The lowly Gators were averaging a league-worst 45.8 points per game, but shot 46% in the second half to make it respectable at the final horn.
After taking a 28-19 lead into the locker room at halftime, UCSD outscored SFSU 13-2 over the first 6:15 of the second stanza to take a 20 point lead at 41-21. Erin Dautremont
and Freidenberg converted on back-to-back trips for the Tritons and Carlisle capped the run with a big three.
UCSD would push the advantage to 21 on a pair of free throws from Elaina White
with 8:51 left to play and it seemed as though the Tritons were going to cruise the rest of the way.
San Francisco State had other ideas, however, outscoring UCSD 20-5 over the next six minutes to close to within 53-45 on a jumper from Miller. Miller and Hunter combined to score 11 points during the stretch as SFSU clawed its way back into it.
After head coach Charity Elliott
called a timeout and reinserted several starters to restore order, Freidenberg immediately answered with layup to put UCSD in front by 10 at 55-45 with 2:23 on the clock.
The Gators would cut the deficit to just seven following free throws from Hunter and another Miller jumper, but that was as close as they would get, as Dautremont answered with a pair of free throws and the Tritons held SFSU to just one basket in the final minute.
UCSD will look to continue its winning ways against Cal State Monterey Bay on Spirit Night this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. The Otters defeated the Gators, 92-91, in double overtime in the first meeting of the year back in December.