UCSD wins NCAA West Region Opener; Faces Seattle Pacific in Region Semifinal

Alexis Gaskin recorded 13 points with nine rebounds, while holding the CCAA Player of the Year to just two field-goals.
Alexis Gaskin recorded 13 points with nine rebounds, while holding the CCAA Player of the Year to just two field-goals.
Courtesy: Jimmy Gekas/Sideline Studios

SEATTLE, Wash.. The UC San Diego women’s basketball team got strong performances all-around as the Tritons defeated Cal State San Bernardino 59-46 in their NCAA West Region quarterfinal on Friday night in Seattle.  Meaghan Noud finished with 23 points and Michelle Osier recorded 18 points and 10 rebounds.  Alexis Gaskin anchored a defense which held CCAA Player of the Year Vanessa Wilt to just four points.  Fellow senior guard Alexis Mezzetta dished out a career-best 10 assists for UCSD.


The Tritons (25-9), the defending regional champions, held the Coyotes to just seven field goals in 29 attempts in the second half in pulling away from a 35-30 halftime lead and posting a 13-point victory. 


Noud finished with 23 points, after going for 17 in the opening 20 minutes, while Osier posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.  She had 12 points and five rebounds at the break.  Both players also led the defensive effort with three steals apiece.  Osier also had a block.


Center Alexis Gaskin joined her two teammates in double figures with 13 points.  Gaskin also had nine rebounds as the Tritons controlled the backboards 39-34.  Guard Alexis Mezzetta, who had 10 assists, also was credited with eight rebounds.


“Noud and Osier carried us offensively in the first-half,” said head coach Charity Elliott.  “Gaskin’s post defense was huge in this game, and Mezzetta ran the offense and did a great job of controlling the game.”


No Cal State San Bernardino player reached double figures as the Coyotes finished their season with a 21-8 record.  Leslie Pickron came off the bench to hit three treys, all in the first half, and led CSUSB with nine points.  Krystal Urzua had eight points.


UC San Diego, which also had four fewer turnovers (12-16) than their conference rivals, trailed 25-20 with 7:38 remaining in the first half, but then held CSUSB to five points the rest of the half.  The Tritons had seven of the final nine points in the final 4:18 to break away from a 28-28 tie.


Early in the second half CSUSB pulled to within two at 37-35 on a three-pointer by Shanae Blake with 17:42 left, but only scored five points over the next nine minutes as the Tritons built a 48-40 lead.  After a jumper by Jatarra Pryor cut the deficit to six, UCSD scored the next six points and maintained a double-digit lead the remainder of the way. 


For the game, the Tritons held CSUSB to just 19 field goals in 48 attempts (32.8), while making 20 of 48 (41.7).


UC San Diego now advances to the semifinals on Saturday at 7 p.m. where the Tritons will face No. 1 seed Seattle Pacific.