LA JOLLA, Calif. - Megan Perry and Chelsea Carlisle hit back-to-back threes to break up a tie game late in the second half and send the UC San Diego women's basketball team to a 76-68 victory over visiting Cal State Stanislaus in California Collegiate Athletic Association play on Thursday evening at RIMAC Arena.
After shooting just 37% and trailing by as many as eight in the opening period, the Tritons rebounded to outscore the Warriors 47-36 in the second and post their fifth consecutive victory.
"There was one timeout in the second half where I said 'guys, sometimes you've got to grind it out, sometimes it's not going to be pretty' and that's what tonight was," head coach Charity Elliott said. "Good teams find a way to win and somehow we found a way to win tonight."
UCSD improves to 15-9 on the season and 13-4 in the CCAA with the victory, keeping within striking distance of the conference leaders with just five regular season games remaining. The Tritons, who have won 11 of their last 13 games over the past two months, entered the night just two games behind first place Cal Poly Pomona in the win column.
Cal State Stanislaus drops to 11-10 overall and 9-8 in CCAA play, falling for the second time in three games.
Carlisle scored 19 points and dished out five assists to pace the Tritons, who shoot 44% in the second half. She was just 5-of-14 from the field, but connected on 4-of-6 from behind the arc, with three of those treys coming in the decisive second half.
Lauren Freidenberg had another strong game for UCSD as well, tallying 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and grabbing seven boards.
Christin Gowan led all scorers with 20 points and racked up a game-high seven assists for the Warriors, who shot 46% for the game. Katie Busi tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Andreanna Marshall also scored 15.
Stanislaus led 35-31 three and a half minutes into the second half, but Carlisle and Daisy Feder answered with triples for UCSD to give the Tritons a two-point advantage with 15:47 remaining.
Five straight points from Nicole Anderson-Jew gave UCSD its biggest lead at 51-43 seven minutes later, but Stanislaus would answer with an 11-3 run over the next three minutes to tie the score at 54 with 6:03 left to play.
The two squads traded the next several baskets, with a jumper by the Warriors' Theresa Henderson knotting the score at 59 all with 3:46 left. Perry followed with her only field goal of the game -- a smooth triple from the left side -- and Carlisle drained a long three as well, giving UCSD a 65-59 advantage and prompting a Stanislaus timeout with 2:25 on the clock.
The Warriors trimmed the deficit to four on a shot by Marshall with 1:08 left, but the Tritons made 11 free throws in the final 53 seconds to seal their third straight win on their home floor.
UCSD shot 41% for the game and held a 36-32 cushion on the glass. The Tritons shot 32 free throws to the Warriors' eight and outscored the visitors 22-14 off the bench. Stanislaus outscored UCSD 40-22 in the paint.
The Tritons held a 10-6 lead early in the first half, but the Warriors answered with a 14-4 run to take an 18-14 advantage following a three by Marshall with 8:12 left in the period.
Stanislaus scored three consecutive baskets to push the margin to eight at 26-18 with six minutes remaining, but UCSD closed to within 32-29 at the half. The Tritons finished with more turnovers (12) than field goals (nine) in the opening period.
UCSD will shoot for win No. 16 when Chico State comes to town on Saturday evening. Tip-off is slated for 5:30 p.m. at RIMAC Arena.