CARSON, Calif. -
The UC San Diego women's basketball team scored eight straight points to grab a 10-point first half lead and never looked back, taking down Cal State Dominguez Hills, 71-57, in California Collegiate Athletic Association play on Friday night at the Torodome.
The Tritons shot 54% from the field and led by as many as 18 points in the first half to cruise to their seventh win in a row and post the program's 15th consecutive victory over the Toros.
UCSD, which has lost just two games since the calendar flipped to 2011, improves to 17-9 overall and 15-4 in conference play. After clinching a berth in next month's CCAA Tournament with home wins over Cal State Stanislaus and Chico State last week, the Tritons can secure a home game in the first round with a victory at Cal State L.A. on Saturday.
Cal State Dominguez Hills, which last defeated UCSD in the 2004-05 season, falls to 3-20 overall and 3-16 in the CCAA. The last place Toros have just one win in their last 10 games dating back to the middle of January.
Chelsea Carlisle scored a game-high 25 points for UCSD, finishing 7-of-13 from the field and a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line. She added seven rebounds and a five assists, moving to within 13 of the all-time single season assist mark of 159. Carlisle scored 14 points in the second half to help the Tritons weather a late Toro rally.
Lauren Freidenberg hit four of her first five shots and finished with 15 points, while Emily Osga put in 13 on 3-of-5 shooting.
Tiffany Smith scored 11 points off the bench to lead CSUDH, but no other Toro finished with more than nine. Sherrie Hughes had nine points and seven boards, while Brandie McCann also scored nine.
Despite cooling off considerably in the second half, UCSD finished at 47% from the field for the game, while limiting the home team to just under 40% shooting. The Tritons accounted for over a third of their points at the charity stripe, draining 24-of-26 attempts at the foul line.
Nikki Boutte and Jessica Cannon hit early threes to give Dominguez a 6-3 lead, but Carlisle and Freidenberg scored back-to-back baskets and Megan Perry hit a triple to give UCSD a 10-6 advantage a little more than four minutes in.
Hughes' layup brought the Toros to within 12-10 a minute and a half later, but Freidenberg scored two straight buckets, Osga got to the rim and Carilsle sank two free throws to give the Tritons a 20-10 cushion with 11:53 remaining in the first half.
Freidenberg scored 13 points in the opening period, connecting on 5-of-7 shots from the field.
UCSD extended its lead to 15 following a Carlisle triple and another score from Freidenberg and consecutive baskets from Nicole Anderson-Jew and Carlisle gave the Tritons' their biggest margin at 38-20 with 2:04 left in the period. The Toros scored the final seven points to cut the deficit to 11 heading into the locker room.
Dominguez' run continued into the second half as the Toros scored six straight to pull within five at 38-33, but UCSD answered with a 13-0 run over the next 4:34 to grab a commanding 51-33 lead with 12 minutes remaining. Carlisle scored seven points during the run, while Elaina White and Anderson-Jew dropped back-to-back threes.
CSUDH would make one last push, pulling to within 57-48 with 4:38 left to play, but UCSD was able to finish the Toros off, closing the game on a 14-8 spurt.
The Tritons will go for season win No. 18 when they take on the Golden Eagles on Saturday night at The Eagles Nest. Cal State L.A. snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 61-54 triumph over Cal State East Bay in L.A. on Friday.